UN Special Representative in the DRC Leila Zerrougui continues her visit to Ituri, a province in the east of the country hit by renewed violence and massacres involving the Hema and Lendu communities. This Wednesday, she went to Fataki. More than three quarters of the population fled in February. After a few weeks of calm, some residents begin to return and last Monday, the schools reopened shyly.
In Fataki’s Koli Kori High School, the bell sounds again, but in the classrooms the ranks are still sparse. “We only have 25 students,” says Sister Odette, the head of the school. “Normally there are 165, so it’s not even half yet.”
On the floor, in the examination room, some plastic sheets are placed on a row of benches. It was here that before she had to flee herself, Sister Odette had welcomed hundreds of families fleeing the violence: “Their homes were looted, it is a pity. We opened the door for them and there are still traces.”
On his return, some families were still there: “In the evening, there are families who are still returning. During the day, you still have to look for something to eat to have 1,000 francs to live.”
As for students, according to Ephrem Buju, a French teacher, many have only returned with part of their family and are still very disturbed: “They were disturbed by this war. They are not well settled in their families, so it disturbs their mentality a bit. There are still doubts, since the security situation is not yet well defined.”
The high school boarding school, which usually houses children from the most remote villages, is still closed.