Two Hutu women suspected of taking part in an ethnic massacre that left more than 50 people dead in Congo’s Kivu region were dragged out of mini bus, lynched and their bodies burnt.
Hundreds of people have died in the Butembo area, dominated by the Nande tribesmen in ethnic act of vengeance this year. For more than two decades, dozens of rebel groups having been battling in the restive eastern Congo region for control over land and minerals.
“I condemn the death of these two people who were lynched then burned by the crowd,” Sikuli Uvasaka Makala, mayor of Butembo. “You are killing innocent people.”
Soldiers have been sent to restore order after credible reports emerged that residents were blocking roads and searching vehicles for Hutu rebels from Demmoratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda are active.
Soldiers opened fire after a protesting crowd refused to disperse. The military said it detained some of its leaders.
The killings in the town of Beni last week ignited tension between the Nande and Hutu peoples shaken by the invasion of Rwanda, Uganda and ethnic rivalries.
Congo’s government blamed a partly Islamist group, Allied Democratic Forces that emerged from Uganda for the killings over the last two years that claimed more than 700 lives.