Tribal clashes in the Democratic Republic of the Congo have claimed the lives of nearly two dozen people over the past three days, a government official says. The deputy governor of Kasai Province in the DR Congo said on Monday that 23 people had lost their lives in weekend clashes triggered by tribal rivalry in the central Tshikapa region.
Hubert Mbingho N’Vula said on state television that the clashes had occurred between police and members of militia groups in the region, leaving “13 dead and 14 injured among security forces,” adding that the fighting also “killed 10 militia” fighters.
According to an AFP report quoting an unnamed Interior Ministry official, the fighting was due to rivalry between the newly-named traditional chief and his uncle, “who came to oust his nephew and seize power.”
Public order has reportedly been restored after the clashes. DR Congo has faced numerous problems over the past few decades such as grinding poverty, crumbling infrastructure and a war in the east of the country that has dragged on since 1998 and has left over 5.5 million people dead.
Dozens of armed groups have been active in the eastern DR Congo since then and the Congolese army, joined by UN troops, is on the offensive against rebel groups. The rebels are also accused of carrying out attacks in DR Congo and committing serious human rights violations, including recruiting child soldiers and rape.