The chances that different ethnic groups will be able to coexist peacefully in Province Orientale are becoming increasingly slim on account of the four-month-old war and its impact, a local human rights group said. In a report received yesterday (Tuesday) by IRIN, the church Groupe Justice et Liberation in Kisangani warned that popular sentiment against Rwandan Tutsis, who are viewed as responsible for the current crisis, was becoming “dangerously contagious”, with feelings of revenge and mutual suspicion helping to fuel a “spiral of violence.” Those striving to promote tolerance were considered as “traitors”, and people were taking up arms to gain power or as a means of subsistence, it said.
The church group said the current situation in the province has bred deep frustration and anger among the population, who feel the war was concocted outside the DRC against the will and aspirations of the Congolese people. The conflict is “a war of foreigners fought on Congolese territory,” it said.
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