3 People Died in DR Congo Over Food War
Infighting over food supplies at a camp for internally displaced people in the unrest-ridden eastern part of DR Congo resulted in the deaths of three individuals, sources claimed on Friday.
Kanyarucyinya camp, a facility housing some 17,500 people close to the city of Goma, received food from local authorities on Thursday, but camp chief Theo Musekura said the food would be distributed the next morning.
He told AFP that the decision infuriated some of the displaced people, igniting fights in which three individuals lost their lives.
According to Musekura, some of the displaced were shot while others were run over.
Three deaths were confirmed by two displaced individuals at Kanyarucyinya, who also explained that police had fired in an effort to disperse the gathering.
According to a security official who asked to remain anonymous, two persons were shot dead, one was crushed to death, and five others were injured.
Some eyewitnesses claimed that attempts to take the food were what caused the fights to start.
The death toll could not be independently verified by AFP. When questioned, local police chief Colonel Patrick Molengo remained silent.
As the M23 militia and the army engaged in combat and the rebels took control of large areas of new territory in recent weeks, thousands of camp occupants were forced to flee.
The M23, a predominantly Congolese Tutsi group, originally gained notoriety in 2012 when it briefly overran Goma before being expelled.
After going dormant for several years, the organization started fighting again in late 2021, among other complaints, alleging that the DR Congo had broken a promise to include them in the army.
In recent weeks, the rebels have decisively expanded the area they control in North Kivu by defeating the Congolese army in a series of battles.
The DR Congo accuses its smaller neighbor Rwanda of supporting the militia, which has strained regional ties in central Africa.
The UN’s humanitarian organization OCHA estimates that since October 20, 183,000 people have been displaced in North Kivu.