Thousands of civilians are fleeing fighting between the Democratic Republic of Congo’s army and militia groups in the eastern South Kivu province, a local official told AFP on Friday.
Some 25,000 of them have gathered in Minwembe, the rural commune’s deputy mayor Charles Sadiki told AFP.
“They are fleeing the fighting. Their homes have been burnt and pillaged. They have spent the night out of doors. They have no shelter. They have no food. No assistance,” he said.
Sadiki said gunfire had been heard near Minembwe, where UN-funded Okapi radio reported that three militiamen were killed in combat with troops.
The United Nations said this week it had warded off several attacks on Minewemba. Dozens of armed groups are active in the North and South Kivu provinces of DRC.