This violence had already led to the postponement of the December 30th general election in Yumbi in the province of Mai-Ndombe. "An old rivalry between Banunus and Batende provoked new community violence," said a spokesman for the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) Andrej Mahecic.
"It is reported that the renewed violence has killed dozens of people, with some 150 wounded who have arrived in Congo-Brazzaville," he said. "This is the largest refugee flow from the DRC to Congo-Brazzaville for almost a decade," he said.
In 2009, some 130,000 people had crossed the river to flee ethnic clashes in Equateur province. The Republic of Congo- Brazzaville is home to about 60,000 refugees, mainly from the DRC, Central African Republic and Rwanda.
The last wave of refugees includes mostly women and children from the Banunu community. They arrive in the region of Makotipoko and Bouemba, where the authorities of Brazzaville and the United Nations agencies provide them with medical treatment. "Those fleeing the DRC speak of attacks, houses burned and people killed", according to the spokesman of the UNHCR