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At least 34 people killed over weekend in DR Congo

At least 34 people have been killed over the weekend in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

The country has been the scene of multiple attacks and violent protests since President Joseph Kabila refused to step down at the end of his mandate on Tuesday.

Although not being clear if the recent deaths are directly related to Kabila’s remaining in office, analysts said that his move has resulted in a security vacuum which is feeding local conflicts.

On Sunday, Nande militants killed some 13 Hutu civilians with machetes and guns in the eastern city of Nyanzale in a move which local activist Innocent Gasigwa said seemed to be in retaliation to attacks on Nande civilians.

“This must be the response for last time,” he said in reference to a last week incident in which an ethnic Hutu militia killed 17 Nandes.

On Saturday, 21 civilians and 4 militants were killed during attacks in the city of Beni, said military spokesman Captain Mak Hazukay.

A large number of people have been killed in raids in and around Beni since October 2014. The government blames the ADF militant group for the attacks.

The DR Congo has faced numerous problems over the past few decades such as grinding poverty, crumbling infrastructure, and a war in the east of the country that has dragged on since 1998 and has left over 5.5 million people dead.

Dozens of armed groups have been active in the eastern DR Congo ever since and the Congolese army, joined by UN troops, launched an offensive against rebel groups.

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