Ethnically Targeted Violence in Northern DRC
The war in Congo has been misdescribed as a local ethnic rivalry when in fact it represents an ongoing struggle for power at the national and international levels, Human Rights Watch said in a new report released today. The 57-page report, ‘Covered in Blood’: Ethnically Targeted Violence in Northern DR Congo, provides evidence that combatants in the Ituri region of northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have slaughtered some five thousand civilians in the last year because of their ethnic affiliation. But the combatants are armed and often directed by the governments of the DRC, Rwanda and Uganda. A number of treaties and ceasefires, the most recent signed in Burundi on June 19, have supposedly ended the conflict between the governments of Uganda, Rwanda, and the DRC, as well as Congolese rebel movements set to share power with the Kinshasa government. But the minor players—often the proxies for the principals—continue the war.