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DRC - ethnic clashes

Government takes tribal bastion

Article published on the 2010-01-01 Latest update 2010-01-01 11:55 TU

DRC President Joseph Kabila (Photo: AFP)

DRC President Joseph Kabila
(Photo: AFP)

The Democratic Republic of Congo has taken control of the last bastion controlled by tribeslmen involved in tribal clashes at the end of 2009. The government says the armed forces attacked the town of Enyele in the north-west of the country on Thursday after the fighters refused to lay down their arms.

The situation is now calm, according to government spokesman, Lambert Mende. 

"We are identifying prisoners and examining the situation," he said. 

Enyele is 75 kilometers from Dongo, where at the end of October some 100 fighters from the Lobala community (also called Enyele) led by a medicine man, attacked the Monzaya tribe, as well as a group of police officers, over fishing rights in a pond in the village. 

The clashes led to the death of some 100 villagers, mainly from the Monzaya tribe and the takeover of the town by the Lobala. 

On 13 December a 600-strong commando of Monzaya retook Dongo without a fight. The Lobala fell back on positions in neighboring areas. 

Clashes between the two tribes between October and December 2009 caused the death of 270 people, including 187 civilians, while 150,000 people were displaced.

The UN's World Food Programme has announced the distribution of 50 tonnes of food to some 6,000 people displaced by the fighting in the villages of Bozene and Boyazala. 

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