The name of Bunia, a small town in the Ituri district of northeastern Congo, has brutally surfaced on the international agenda. It became the battleground between Hema and Lendu ethnic militias a few weeks ago when the last contingent of Ugandan troops ﬁnally withdrew from the Congo, almost seven years after they ﬁrst entered to support a rebel coalition against then President Mobutu Sese Seko.
Three weeks of ﬁghting killed more than four hundred people, and the UN Security Council has mandated a French-led European force to restore order and protect internally displaced people. But it is not enough, and the chaos that has unfolded in Bunia jeopardises the chances of a longer term paciﬁcation process supported by the UN. All this is dangerously indicative of a new phase of the Congo conﬂict – the third Congo war.