Intercommunal clashes have left at least 161 people dead in Ituri province over the past week as of Monday, June 17. The attacks mark a renewal of conflict between the pastoralist Hema and agriculturalist Lendu communities, who engaged in intense fighting from 1999 to 2003 as part of the Ituri Conflict, resulting in an estimated 50,000 deaths. Officials claim that this latest bout of violence was instigated by the recent killings of four Lendu businesspeople, which the Lendu community blamed on Hema assailants. Most of the bodies found from the ensuing violence over the past week were those of Hema community members.
The death toll from the clashes is expected to rise over the coming days. Related clashes are to be expected in Ituri province over the coming weeks.
Individuals in Ituri province are advised to remain vigilant, monitor developments to the situation, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments.
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