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outbreak of violence in Bakuakenge, a locality disputed by Kasai and Kasai Central

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                A dozen people were killed on Monday in what amounts to an intercommunal conflict in Bakuakenge, a locality disputed by the provinces of Kasai and Kasai Central, in central DRC.  This is the heaviest toll since the August 2020 clashes which resulted in the death of ten people and thousands of displaced persons.  The crisis persists in this part of the DRC where conflicts have been aggravated, in particular following the territorial division of 2015.

                                    <p><em>With our correspondent in Kinshasa,<strong/></em><strong>Patient Ligodi</strong>

The tension was already high last Saturday in Bakuakenge, a locality disputed by two provinces. It all started, according to the provincial authorities, with a household dispute between a woman from Kasai Central and her husband from Kasai province.

The dispute poorly managed by a law enforcement officer provoked clashes overnight from Saturday to Sunday between the two communities. Several people were injured, two seriously.

The situation escalated on Monday. Unidentified people armed, including machetes, entered the area. According to information from the governor of Kasai, Dieudonné Pieme, these people mainly attacked women and children. Most of the victims were beheaded.

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The only health center in the area was burnt down. As well as a hundred homes. Relative calm reigned on Tuesday in Bakuakenge. The reinforcement of the police arrived on the spot. Police came from Kananga and Mweka.

Discussions are underway regarding a possible deployment of the military. Meanwhile, local authorities from two provinces met on Tuesday morning.

Read also: DRC: complex and multiple issues behind the conflict between the Kasai

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