Reports of machete and axe attacks in DRC

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A hungry, exhausted boy waiting in line to receive food rations just outside the IDP site in Kibati. UNHCR/P.Taggart

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has said it is greatly concerned by the ongoing killings and human rights violations against civilians in the Beni area of the Democratic Republic of the Congo's North Kivu Province.

Hundreds of people, including children, have been killed in machete and axe attacks since October, according to UNHCR.

The violence in Beni has caused the displacement of around 88,000 families.

Adrian Edwards, Spokesperson for UNHCR, said the agency is appealing for humanitarian access to help people in distress.

“We need for safe access to these areas to establish a proper humanitarian presence to help and do what we can to protect traumatized people. Until now, it's been a very challenging environment for humanitarian actors. We've been unable to reach Beni and the surrounding areas affected by the violence.”  (18″)

Mr Edwards said that the Congolese Government has accused the ADF Nalu of the violence.

The Ugandan minority group has been held responsible for past massacres.

However, he added there might also be other armed groups involved, such as the defeated M23 or further military actors.

Stephanie Coutrix, United Nations.

Duration: 1’14″

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