Congo's government spokesman says 34 people have been charged with crimes including genocide, murder and rape in connection with ethnic violence in the country's southeast.

Lambert Mende said Saturday the suspects had been arrested and presented before a local court.

The United Nations says hundreds have been killed in fighting between the Luba and Batwa ethnic groups dating back to 2013. A Human Rights Watch report released this week said "major fighting" broke out in 2013 in the Manono territory of northern Katanga province after the Batwa, an indigenous Pygmy group, started pushing for rights including access to land and freedom from forced labor.

The rights group documented violence including an attack in April on a camp for displaced Batwa that killed at least 30 men, women and children.