Thousands homeless following the Yumbi massacre in the DRC

Thousands homeless following the Yumbi massacre in the DRC
Thousands homeless following the Yumbi massacre in the DRC

In December More than 500 men, women and children from the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Banunu community were killed in attacks by Batende villagers, some beheaded and many slain as they tried to flee across a river.

The violence which was believed to be triggered by a dispute over the burial of a Banunu chief, the U.N. investigators said.

19,000 people were displaced, most fleeing into the Republic of Congo. Almost 1,000 buildings, including churches, schools and health centres, were destroyed or looted.

Today, residents of this small area in northwestern Democratic Republic of Congo are struggling to recover.

Thousands of families are still homeless and are finding it difficult to feed themselves.

“No pans, no plates, no beakers, no clothes, not even a bucket to wash in. That’s what it’s been like for the last three months,” explains Moseka, who is in her fifties, adding that she sleeps on a mat on the floor.

Her grandchildren were staying with her when her house was burned down. Three of them died. She suffered serious burns. For the time being, she is staying with her son.

The people in this area live mainly from fishing along the River Congo, but they have lost their fishing boats and equipment.

Farmers have missed the beginning of the farming season, which was in February.

“They’ve lost virtually everything they depend on to survive. Their boats have been destroyed, they’ve lost their nets. They’ve all had to start again from nothing,” said Calvin Mastaki, an agronomist at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
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