40 civilians drown fleeing violence in northwest DR Congo

Mbandaka (DR Congo) (AFP) – Forty civilians drowned when their boats capsized on a storm-swollen river as they fled fighting in northwestern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), a senior local official said Friday.

“As of Wednesday night, we recovered the bodies of 40 people” after their boats capsized, Jean Bakatoye, vice governor of South Ubangi province, told AFP. The civilians were trying to cross the Ubangi River, which marks the border with the neighbouring Republic of Congo.