Heavy fighting is once again raging in the town of Bunia in north-eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Dead bodies are reported to litter the streets of the town, where rival ethnic militias have been battling for control since Ugandan troops withdrew last week. At least ten people are reported to have been killed and more than 100 wounded. The United Nations has appealed to other countries to follow France’s example in offering to send peacekeepers to the region. Some UN officials have warned of a possible genocide in the resource-rich region, where an estimated 50,000 people have been killed in recent years. Fighters surrounded a UN compound in the town, where scores of people have been killed and thousands more have taken refuge during eight days of fighting between rival ethnic militias. “There’s fire everywhere, from mortars, from Kalashnikovs and other heavy arms,” said UN spokeswoman Patricia Tome in Bunia. The latest attacks came as President Joseph Kabila flew to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania for a regional summit to discuss the crisis in eastern Congo. Ethnic Hema and Lendu leaders are reported to have also left Bunia airport to attend the talks along with Congolese Human Rights Minister Ntumba Luaba who was sheltering at the UN compound. Full Story
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