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Congo residents start retuning home
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Tuesday, 08 July 2003
Thousands of residents who fled inter-militia fighting in the town of Bunia in northeastern DRC have begun returning to their homes, the UN peacekeeping mission in the country, known as MONUC, reported July 1. "With a general calm now prevailing in town, people have been returning since last Thursday," Leocardio Salmeron, the MONUC spokesman, told IRIN. "They are arriving in small groups - 1,000 one day, 1,200 another day and 1,300 the next - but we do not yet have definitive figures and we are trying to compile a more accurate estimate," he said. The humanitarian situation had not worsened, he said, because of the small number of daily arrivals. Humanitarian agencies had estimated that between 200,000 and 350,000 people fled Bunia and the surrounding region when fighting between Hema and Lendu militias took a turn for the worse in May.
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