Tragedy in Beni: a crisis foretold?

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“They hacked him and put him in a pigsty,” a survivor told Al Jazeera. This terrifying report emerged from an attack by an armed group on the town of Beni, Eastern DR Congo, on Saturday 13 August. It was not the first time Beni has been targeted. Scores of people have died in several different atrocities in 2016 alone, and at least 1625 people have been killed in the North Kivu region during the last 24 months.

The killings take place amid ongoing instability and endemic armed conflict in the Great Lakes region of central Africa, with a complex and changing picture of violence. But this does not mean that nothing can be done.

Peace Direct has spent more than a decade supporting local peacebuilders in Eastern Congo, with notable success in rescuing and reintegrating child soldiers from the type of groups involved in the Beni attacks. This will not be quick or easy, but we know that there is enormous potential within already-existing civil society to mitigate, respond to and ultimately prevent further atrocities.

So how can the killing be stopped? Peace Direct has released a briefing on the situation in Congo.

Image credit: MONUSCO.

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