Ituri Province, DRC

A forgotten conflict erupts in northeastern Congo

Bunia in the Ituri region of Orientale Province Julien Harneis/Flickr
Bunia in the Ituri region of Orientale Province

A wave of killings, rape, and arson has prompted tens of thousands of people to flee their homes in 2018, many of them across Lake Albert to Uganda.

Residents of the province hoped they had turned a page on such bloodshed, that they would never again see a repeat of the carnage that took place between 1999 and 2003. Some 55,000 people were killed then in clashes between militias drawn from the Hema and Lendu communities. The severity of that conflict, in large part orchestrated by Uganda and Rwanda, led to the deployment of an EU military force and to some of the key warlords becoming the first people charged by the International Criminal Court.

An updated look at the Ituri conflict

But in early 2018, violence broke out again. By March, scores of civilians had reportedly been killed in fresh clashes, and more than 48,000 refugees had arrived in Uganda. A further 100,000 people remained displaced inside Congo as the conflict raged on. The recent violence was set against the backdrop of deepening humanitarian crises in Congo's southern Kasai and eastern Kivu provinces, feeding growing uncertainty as President Joseph Kabila clung to power.

The articles in this in-depth provide a detailed chronicle of Ituri’s recent history.

Share this article

In-Depth Stories:

Get the day’s top headlines in your inbox every morning

Starting at just $5 a month, you can become a member of The New Humanitarian and receive our premium newsletter, DAWNS Digest.

DAWNS Digest has been the trusted essential morning read for global aid and foreign policy professionals for more than 10 years.

Government, media, global governance organisations, NGOs, academics, and more subscribe to DAWNS to receive the day’s top global headlines of news and analysis in their inboxes every weekday morning.

It’s the perfect way to start your day.

Become a member of The New Humanitarian today and you’ll automatically be subscribed to DAWNS Digest – free of charge.

Become a member of The New Humanitarian

Support our journalism and become more involved in our community. Help us deliver informative, accessible, independent journalism that you can trust and provides accountability to the millions of people affected by crises worldwide.