Africa Clashes force school closures in DRC

Clashes force school closures in DRC

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The Democratic Republic of Congo’s government has declared on Saturday the closing of its border with the republic of Zambia following two consecutive nights of violent riots in the border town of Kasumbalesa. Zambian authorities have also closed the borders from their side.

At least 20 primary and secondary schools have been destroyed by fire in the past two weeks during tribal clashes in the northeast, a security officer told Anadolu Agency on Friday.

Lieut. Ivan Legu said more than 60 schools in six villages in Djugu territory, Ituri province are no longer open because of suspected attacks by Lendu people against Hema communities. The violence has forced 6,000 students out of school.

Schools in “Djugu territory, including Mambisa, Walendu Djatsi, Walendu Tatsi, North Bahema, Bahema Banywagi and Bahema Baguru have been closed,” he said. “Twenty of them have been burned down and looted by the Lendu people. Most of the local people have been displaced.”

More than 40 people were killed two weeks ago during ethnic clashes. That prompted the government to send troops to try to contain the violence, but attacks have continued.

Ethnic violence is common in Ituri province, where different tribes routinely attack each other, inflicting heavy casualties before security forces can contain the situation.