Thousands flee renewed clashes in DR Congo

Renewed ethnic clashes in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s eastern regions have forced thousands to flee to neighbouring Uganda.

Thousands of Congolese refugees have been crossing Lake Albert – which sits on the border – into Uganada after attacks intensified in Ituri over the last week.

There are fears the attacks may herald a return to massacres witnessed in the area nearly 20 years ago, when tens of thousands were killed.

One man said his four children were killed and houses in his village in Ituri burned down.

Another father wept as he identified the body of his three-year-old who drowned when their canoe capsized in the lake.

The Hema and the Lendu ethnic groups of the DR Congo have had historical rivalry over land.

More than 400,000 people were displaced during violent clashes between 1999 and 2003.

The latest flare-up has also affected a third ethnic community, the Bagegere.

The violence could further destabilize the troubled mineral-rich eastern region of the DR Congo.