Democratic Republic of Congo: The pendulum of violence

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From Medicins Sans Frontieres:

“Lulingu, South Kivu, in the turbulent east of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), is a region of few roads and dense forests, whose 170,000 inhabitants are regularly forced to flee at the whim of armed groups.

For the past 20 years, this region of 6,500 square kilometres has been immersed in violence. When the fighting comes close, villagers take refuge in the forest. When the armed men have moved on, they return to their villages and fields to see what has been left standing, and to start rebuilding and replanting what they have lost.

At least two rival armed groups claim Lulingu as their territory, while both fight the Congolese army. As one group advances, the other retreats; as one retreats, the other advances. The fighting swings back and forth like a pendulum, displacing local people from their homes and inflicting losses on them time and time again.”

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