DRC, Zambia in diplomatic tiff after armies clash

Zambian soldiers doing drills. The Zambian army clashed with their Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) counterparts. File photo

Zambian soldiers doing drills. The Zambian army clashed with their Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) counterparts. File photo

from ARNOLD MULENGA in Lusaka, Zambia
LUSAKA, (CAJ News) TENSIONS are mounting between the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Zambia following clashes between the armed forces of the two countries.

This follows the militancy in the DRC spilling to the neighbouring country where more than 8 000 Congolese have crossed in search of safety from rebel groups.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) disclosed the armies’ clashes on the border had resulted in further displacements, particularly in the Moba territory.

Moba territory lies on the two countries’ border.

“The displaced have found refuge with host families,” a UNOCHA spokesperson said.

He said the incident was the first sign of cross-border tension between the DRC and Zambia since the meeting in October last year between the authorities of Tanganyika in DRC and Zambia to normalize the situation at the border.

Nonetheless, tensions have also remained in the territory of Nyunzu in Tanganyika.

It has been the scene of communal conflicts since the beginning of the year.

Humanitarian access is still limited.

UNOCHA reported that militia attacks on civilians had been trending downward for the past few days, giving way to a series of kidnappings followed by ransom demands.

Military operations have been sustained to restore peace, track down the militias and reopen certain routes to traffic.

Recurrent floods have displaced 11 000 people in Kabalo and Kongolo, also in Tanganyika.

Affected communities are awaiting emergency humanitarian assistance, almost two weeks after the torrential rains fell.

Health centres and schools have also been destroyed.

– CAJ News

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