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Dozens dead after cattle dispute in Democratic Republic of Congo

By Steve Almasy, CNN
June 9, 2014 -- Updated 1054 GMT (1854 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The United Nations sends in peacekeepers after 30 people are killed
  • The fighting was between two communities of Congolese
  • Eastern Congo has long been the center of ethnic and political conflict

(CNN) -- U.N. peacekeepers and troops from the Democratic Republic of Congo are trying to bring peace to an eastern Congo town where a cattle-rustling dispute led to the deaths of 30 people.

At least 15 people were wounded in Friday's unrest, part of ongoing violence in this area of the country, the United Nations said.

The United Nations called for an immediate end to fighting between the Bafuliru and Barundi/Banyamulenge communities in the province of South Kivu.

Martin Kobler, the chief of the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Congo, said troops would be deployed to Mutarule to assist the Congolese army and local officials.

Saving lives in the Congo

Eastern Congo, a mineral-rich region, has been at the center of a political and ethnic conflict involving its neighbors to the east, Uganda and Rwanda, for two decades.

Government troops have also battled rebel groups such as M23, which was defeated in November.

The persistent violence has led to thousands of families who cannot farm and leave their homes for refugee camps, according to the United Nations. The international body also blames a lack of government spending on agriculture, education, health and infrastructure for the worsening situation.

READ: Humanitarian groups: Don't let CAR devolve into genocide

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