Submit this form
Home News Videos Music Photos Facebook Twitter Newsletter Podcasts Mobile RSS
Fighting in the Kivus displaces 55,000


KINSHASA, 9 Feb 2006 (IRIN) - At least 55,000 people have been displaced in North and South Kivu provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as a result of fighting between the army and armed groups, according to humanitarian agencies.

"Since fighting started on the 20th of January in the territory of Rutshuru [North Kivu], tens of thousands of people have fled," Medecines Sans Frontieres (MSF) said in a statement issued on Wednesday.

It said most of the displaced were from the Kibirizi area, northwest of Rutshuru, "where people have been beaten, raped and looted".

MSF said at least 40,000 people had reached the towns of Kanyabayonga, Kayna and Kirumba in the North Kivu territory of Lubero.

MSF said its teams were caring for residents in Kanyabayonga. However, with the arrival of 25,000 people fleeing the fighting, MSF said the town had become overcrowded, with two of three households hosting displaced families. It said they had received reports that many other displaced were unable to reach Kanyabayonga because of insecurity or they were took weak.

"Many others still remain in the bush around Kibirizi, subject to violence and looting," MSF said.

South Kivu

In South Kivu, fighting between the army and the Rwandan Hutu Forces democratique de liberation du Rwanda (FDLR) in Burhyni, Mwenga Territory, has displaced nearly 15,000 people, according to humanitarian workers.

The deputy chief of staff of the UN Mission in the DRC, Col Christian Bergeron, confirmed on Wednesday that the displacement was due to an ongoing military operation by the Congolese army against the FDLR.

Jean-Marc Cordaro, the head of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in South Kivu's capital, Bukavu, said of the 15,500 displaced in the province, close to 12,500 people were in Burhyni, 95 km southwest of Bukavu.

"More displaced continue to arrive from Mwenga where 600 families have reached Bukavu," Cordaro added.

OCHA said the displaced were arriving exhausted and without belongings.

Having only learned of the situation in South Kivu only a week ago, humanitarian actors have begun relief operations for those arriving in Bukavu.

MONUC has reported rape and the destruction of schools and health centres in areas through which the Congolese army has passed.

"We are afraid to expose the displaced to looting either from the 10th Military Region of FARDC or the FDLR," Cordaro said.

Rwandan rebels

Most of the FDLR rebels fled Rwanda following the 1994 genocide, for which they have largely been blamed. According to the Rwandan government, some 937,000 Tutsis and politically moderate Hutus were killed during the genocide.

The rebels, most of them Hutus, formed the FDLR in 1998 and the Congolese government initially used them to fight the Rwandan army, which withdrew from the Congo in 2001. The DRC banned the FDLR in 2002 after it signed a peace deal with Rwanda.

Close to 8,000 FDLR fighters have been demobilised and returned to Rwanda under a MONUC voluntary repatriation scheme. The remaining FDLR elements in eastern Congo continue to fight the Congolese army, looting and raping civilians in the process.

@Congoplanet |

Related articles

  1. At least 30 dead after massacres in Ituri (March 2, 2018)
  2. Peacekeepers, Congo Army to Resume Joint Fight Against Rwandan Rebels (January 28, 2016)
  3. Political tensions 'running high' in DR Congo ahead of 2016 elections (October 7, 2015)
  4. DRC Army Putting Pressure on FDLR (April 1, 2015)
  5. Southern African Leaders to Meet in Zimbabwe (August 15, 2014)
  6. Kerry Calls on Kabila to Honor Constitution (May 4, 2014)
  7. Security Council extends UN mission, intervention force in DR Congo for one year (March 28, 2014)
  8. New DR Congo amnesty law welcomed by UN envoys (February 5, 2014)
  9. Colonel Mamadou Ndala Is Killed in Ambush (January 2, 2014)
  10. No 'Peace Deal' With Defeated M23 Rebels, DR Congo Says (November 11, 2013)
  11. Congo Will Not Sign a 'Peace Deal' With Defeated M23 Rebels, Government Says (November 6, 2013)
  12. Congo Army Takes Control of Mbuzi Hill From M23 Rebels (November 4, 2013)
  13. Kabila Congratulates Congo Army for Defeating M23 Rebels (October 30, 2013)
  14. Advancing Congo Troops Take Control of Rumangabo From M23 Rebels (October 28, 2013)
  15. Congo Army Liberates Rutshuru, Kiwanja and Kibumba From M23 Rebels (October 27, 2013)
  16. Congo Army Dislodges M23 Rebels From Strategic Town of Kibumba (October 26, 2013)
  17. Congo Army Takes Control of Kibumba After Fighting With M23 Rebels Resumes (October 25, 2013)
  18. U.S. Sanctions Rwanda Over Use of Child Soldiers by M23 Rebels (October 4, 2013)
  19. Ban Ki-moon Confirms M23 Rebels Shelled Rwanda (August 31, 2013)
  20. DR Congo Will Defend Itself Against an Attack by Rwanda, Government Says (August 31, 2013)
  21. M23 Rebels Fired Shells Into Rwanda, Not Congo Army, UN Says (August 30, 2013)
  22. Mortar Shells From Rwanda Kill Civilians in Eastern Congo (August 23, 2013)
  23. Dozens of M23 Rebels Killed by Congo Army in Renewed Fighting (August 22, 2013)
  24. UN Peacekeepers Start Enforcing Security Zone in Eastern Congo (August 1, 2013)
  25. M23 Arrests 110 People Accusing Rebels of Looting At Rally (July 27, 2013)
  26. UN Security Council debate focuses on peace efforts for Africa's Great Lakes region (July 25, 2013)
  27. M23 Rebels Said to Flee Rumangabo After Congo Army Airstrikes (July 25, 2013)
  28. Congo Army Strikes M23 Rebels Base At Rumangabo (July 24, 2013)
  29. M23 Rebels Kill, Rape Civilians in Eastern Congo: Human Rights Watch (July 22, 2013)
  30. M23 Rebels in Disarray in Eastern Congo, Says Government Spokesman (July 19, 2013)

Live TV Congo Radio en ligne Radio
Available on App Store
Get it on Google Play

Contact Us | About Us | Édition en Français | French Edition

© All rights reserved.