At least four displaced people have died in an attack by militias of the Cooperative for the Development of Congo (CODECO) in the Congolese town of Djugu, Ituri province (in the east of the country), according to local sources reported to the Actualité portal.

The displaced, according to sources, were heading to the fields near their camp when they were attacked near the town of Ndjaza.

Members of civil society have raised a cry of alarm to the military authorities that govern the province to prevent further attacks.

“We ask the military governor to launch large-scale operations to locate these attackers who continue to operate in the Djugu territory,” lamented Jean Vianney Ngess, president of the local civil society.

CODECO is predominantly made up of members of the Lendu community. Since June 2019, there has been a spike in inter-communal fighting between the Lendu and Hema in Djugu and other areas of Ituri.

These incidents have brought to mind the conflict between the Hema and the Lendu between 1999 and 2007 over grazing rights and political representation, which resulted in close to 50,000 deaths.

Several armed groups control parts of eastern DRC despite the 1998-2003 war formally ending. The conflict caused millions of deaths, most of them victims of hunger and disease.

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