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Nearly 900 killed in just three days in DR Congo, UN reports

ETHNIC violence in western Democratic Republic of Congo led to the death of 890 people within three days last month, a UN report released late last night revealed.

“Credibile sources” claim clashes erupted between Banunu and Batende communities, while the source of the conflict is unclear. 

The UN report notes: “Some 465 houses and buildings were burned down or pillaged, including two primary schools, a health centre, a health post, a market, and the office of the Commission Electoral National Independante (CENI).” 

Such violence has led to the displacement of an estimated 16,000 people seeking refuge by crossing the Congo River into the Republic of Congo.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said: “It is crucial that this shocking violence be promptly, thoroughly investigated and the perpetrators be brought to justice.” 

A further investigation by the UN Human Rights Office has been launched into these alarming reports.

The violence occurred on December 16-18, just before the election which was rescheduled to be held on December 30, following a fire that had destroyed 8,000 electronic voting machines. 

The ongoing conflict highlights the political instability during the presidential campaign.

The election result found Felix Tshisekedi of the UDPS party as the winner, however, opponent Martin Fayulu of the current administration insists that he won, alleging that “Mr Tshisekedi made a deal with outgoing President Joseph Kabila.”

Further investigation into the electoral results by French media organisation RFI and the Financial Times reported huge electoral fraud. Their analysis claims that stats representing 86 per cent of the total votes cast across the country Fayulu won 59.4 per cent of the vote, while opposition candidate Mr Tshisekedi finished second with 19 per cent. 

Mr Fayulu has filed a complaint with DR Congo’s Constitutional Court which has until Friday to pass judgement.

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