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D.R. Congo: Ituri fighting reported decreasing

Briefing notes

D.R. Congo: Ituri fighting reported decreasing

1 November 2002

Local officials in the Democratic Republic of the Congo's north-eastern Ituri area, just west of the Ugandan border, say fighting has eased between the Lendu ethnic group and the rival Hema backed by the Congolese Patriotic Union (UPC). A UPC local commander confirmed that hostilities have died down, according to local authorities. He also reportedly encouraged those displaced by the fighting to return home. Local officials said Sudanese refugees displaced by the fighting have started to trickle back to their settlements. Last week, clashes between the rival groups in the area drove 17,000 Sudanese refugees and local residents from their homes. The area, which has been the scene of recurring hostilities between Hema and Lendu ethnic groups, hosts 75,000 Sudanese refugees.