UN flags possible genocide
Hundreds of people have been killed or raped in attacks on the Hema ethnic group in the DRC's Ituri province in what ‘may amount to crimes against humanity’ or even genocide, the UN said on Friday. ‘At least 701 people have been killed and 168 injured during inter-ethnic tensions between the Hema and Lendu communities between December 2017 and September 2019,’ the UN Joint Human Rights Office (UNJRHO) said in a report carried on the News24 site. It documented a range of atrocities, including the raping of women, the killing of school children and looting and burning of villages. ‘The barbarity that characterises these attacks – including the beheading of women and children with machetes, the dismemberment and removal of body parts of the victims as trophies of war – reflects the desire of the attackers to inflict lasting trauma to the Hema communities and to force them to flee and not return to their villages,’ the report notes.