Murders touch off riots in DRC's gold-rich northeast

2017-05-01 18:46


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Kisangani - Protesters angered by a string of unsolved murders threw up roadblocks and mobbed government offices in three days of riots in the restive gold-rich Ituri region of Democratic Republic of Congo, local officials said on Monday.

The trouble erupted on Saturday in the town of Mahagi in the region bordering Uganda where thousands died in ethnic unrest between Lendu farming people and Hema pastoralists between 1998 and 2003.

Troops had to be called in to back up police trying to quell the riots, triggered by the murders of five money-changers in April in Mahagi.

Protesters said police had failed both to investigate the deaths by shooting and to make any arrests.

"Roads were blocked off, the customs office could not operate ... there has been trouble since Saturday in Mahagi due to demonstrations over the murders of five money-changers," Ituri's deputy governor Pacifique Keta told AFP.

"On Monday, army reinforcements and police brought an end to attempted looting and were trying to consolidate the return to calm," he added.

An official for civil society groups in the area, Louis-David Kisangano, said angry demonstrators had smashed the office of the intelligence service as well as a police station and several government buildings.

"The money-changers were killed point blank without any response from the police or the judiciary," Kisangano said.

Read more on:    drc  |  central africa

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