Wednesday 18 April 2018
(AFP (eng) 03/29/18)
A DR Congo press freedom body on Wednesday called for the "immediate release" of a journalist detained on defamation allegations. Serge Olivier Nkongolo is a journalist for Kilimanjaro Radio which broadcasts to Tshikapa, the capital of the central Kasai region. Journalist in Danger (JED) "demands the immediate release" of the journalist, it said in a statement, adding that he was being held for defamation in a "dungeon in the public prosecutor's office near the Tshikapa High Court". It said Nkongolo was summoned by the prosecutor earlier Wednesday and questioned about an article he posed on Facebook "denouncing the behaviour, without naming names, of certain officials of the governorate of the province who have become known,...
(AFP (eng) 03/28/18)
Ten civilians and a Ugandan militant died when Congolese troops clashed with rebels in the flashpoint town of Beni in Democratic Republic of Congo's troubled east, an army spokesman said Wednesday. The incident took place on Tuesday evening when rebels attacked military positions around Beni in North Kivu, Captain Mak Hazukay told AFP. "We listed 10 dead civilians so far," he said. A rebel from Uganda's Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) militia was also killed, he said, adding that fighting was ongoing. Michel Kakule, the lead physician at Beni hospital, told AFP some of the victims "had gunshot wounds while others had been attacked with machetes." The violence sparked an angry backlash among locals "who blocked off several main roads in...
(AFP (eng) 03/28/18)
Authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) say they are investigating an exiled opposition leader who has vowed to stand in December's presidential elections. The announcement late Tuesday coincided with a demand by the UN Security Council that the elections -- viewed as crucial for the stability of the troubled central African state -- be staged with "credibility and inclusivity." Public Prosecutor Flory Kabange Numbune told reporters the authorities had opened a judicial investigation into Moise Katumbi "so that...
(AFP (eng) 03/28/18)
Sexual and ethnic violence are alarmingly on the rise in Democratic Republic of Congo's lawless east, spawning a humanitarian catastrophe with millions forced to flee their homes. At least 13.1 million Congolese need humanitarian aid, including 7.7 million who are severely food insecure, the UN Security Council said last week in a unanimous statement which the Kinshasa government dismisses as a gross exaggeration. As the spat continues with the DR Congo shunning a massive donor conference in Geneva next month aimed at raising $1.7 billion (1.37 billion euros) to tackle the crisis, rapes are increasing in the volatile region. "In 2015, we noticed a noticeable decrease in sexual violence,"...
(AFP (eng) 03/27/18)
The head of a local militia group and a policeman have been arrested over the shock killing of two UN experts in DR Congo a year ago, officials said on Monday. The two were arrested by troops on Saturday in the village of Bukundo, where the pair were found murdered, the deputy governor of Central Kasai province, Manix Kabuanga, told AFP. The militia chief was named as Vincent Manga, while the policeman was not identified. The two "are currently in the hands of the military judiciary," a source at the military prosecutor's office in Kananga, the provincial capital, said.
(AFP (eng) 03/27/18)
Of the many headaches facing the UN mission in DR Congo as its mandate comes up for renewal, few are greater than the ethnic bloodshed and brewing humanitarian crisis in the Kasai region. The sprawling diamond-rich region exploded into violence in September 2016 after soldiers killed a local traditional leader known as the Kamwina Nsapu. Fighting has left more than 3,000 people dead and displaced 1.4 million others, according to the Roman Catholic church. Hunger stalks the region as a result of harvests that have been missed or destroyed. According to the UN Children's Fund, Unicef, 400,000 severely malnourished children are in danger of dying. Reports of killings, arbitrary arrests and kidnapping with ransom demands...
(AFP (eng) 03/26/18)
The EU said on Sunday it was "extremely concerned" about DR Congo after the country announced it would decline a $1.7 billion international aid package. A war of words broke out between the United Nations and DR Congo after Kinshasa said on Friday it would not attend a donor conference in Geneva aimed at tackling a humanitarian crisis the Congolese government says has been vastly exaggerated by aid workers. "The EU is extremely concerned about the worsening crisis in the DRC," EU commissioner for humanitarian aid Christos Stylianides said at a press conference in the eastern city of Goma. "The humanitarian situation is getting worse day by day and unfortunately I saw enormous suffering...
(AFP (eng) 03/26/18)
Six civilians were killed in attacks in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo where violence has claimed at least 130 lives since December, a local official said Saturday. Since late last year, scores of people have been killed in a flareup of clashes involving the Hema and Lendu communities, cattle herders and farmers who have a long history of violence over access to land. "Assailants attacked the localities of Penyi, de Dz'lo and de Mbachulu. Until now, we have found six...
(AFP (eng) 03/26/18)
A war of words has broken out between the United Nations and the DR Congo government which is shunning a donor conference in Geneva to raise $1.7 billion to tackle a humanitarian crisis that Kinshasa says has been vastly exaggerated by aid workers. Prime Minister Jose Makila on Friday said the UN had overreacted and that aid bodies and NGOs in the country were propagating a "bad image of the Democratic Republic of Congo throughout the world". "The Democratic Republic...
(AFP (eng) 03/24/18)
The Democratic Republic of Congo on Friday said it was shunning a donor conference in Geneva next month aimed at raising $1.7 billion to tackle what the United Nations has called a catastrophic humanitarian crisis. Prime Minister Jose Makila said the UN had overreacted and that aid bodies and NGOs in the country were propagating a "bad image of DR Congo throughout the world". "The Democratic Republic of Congo declines to participate in the Geneva conference" on April 13, he...
(AFP (eng) 03/23/18)
UN peacekeepers have found eight decomposing bodies in a village in the volatile Ituri province of northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo, the agency told AFP on Friday. A local official said the eight had been killed during a March 12-13 attack on Djugu area in which at least 30 people were killed by assailants using guns, machetes and arrows. "MONUSCU peacekeepers found eight lifeless, decomposing bodies in a village in the Djugu area yesterday," said Guy Karema, a spokesman for...
(AFP (eng) 03/21/18)
Forty-four African countries have signed an agreement establishing a free trade area seen as vital to the continent's economic development, the head of the African Union said Wednesday. "The agreement establishing the CFTA (African Continental Free Trade Area) was signed by 44 countries," said Moussa Faki Mahamat, chairperson of the AU commission. The creation of a free trade area -- billed as the world's largest -- comes after two years of negotiations, and is one of the AU's flagship projects...
(AFP (eng) 03/21/18)
The former anti-corruption chief fighting fraud in DR Congo's lucrative eastern mines has been jailed for life by a military court on charges of rebellion and murder, judicial sources told AFP. Abbas Kayonga was arrested by UN peacekeepers in the eastern city of Bukavu on November 5 just days after his dismissal for "grave negligence". Efforts by Congolese troops to arrest him had sparked deadly clashes with his bodyguards, which left six people dead before the UN troops intervened. He...
(AFP (eng) 03/21/18)
The United Nations Security Council is considering a French-drafted resolution that would task peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of Congo with helping to prepare credible elections. The draft text, a copy of which was obtained by AFP, would renew the MONUSCO force's mandate for a year and outline its priorities as the DR Congo heads for historic elections on December 23. The elections in the vast mineral-rich African country are to pave the way for a transfer of power from...
(AFP (eng) 03/20/18)
Authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo have exposed more than 200 unqualified magistrates, an official source said Tuesday. A commission of enquiry formed in October to probe the qualifications and recruitment conditions of more than 3,000 magistrates found that hundreds "should not be there," Justice Minister Alexis Thambwe Mwamba told reporters. "The commission has been able to establish that many individuals entered or are in the judiciary who shouldn't be," he said. "More than 200 individuals" will need to be "rooted out of the judiciary to ensure only real magistrates remain." Several of the most flagrant cases have resulted in arrests since the commission began its operations. The minister said others had simply vanished.
(AFP (eng) 03/20/18)
A government crackdown on demonstrations against President Joseph Kabila in Democratic Republic of Congo has led to the killing of 47 people in just over a year, a UN report seen by AFP said Monday. "Between 1 January 2017 and 31 January 2018, at least 47 people, including women and children, were killed by security services and defence forces in the context of demonstrations," the report states. It added that there were indications Congolese security services had attempted to cover...
(AFP (eng) 03/19/18)
A body linked to the powerful Catholic Church in Democratic Republic of Congo on Sunday called on the United Nations to strengthen its role during December elections. The Lay Coordination Committee (CLC), which has held marches against President Joseph Kabila, said it was asking the UN for "more resources to the UN mission in Congo for the protection of civilians during the pre-electoral and post-electoral period". In a letter to UN chief Antonio Guterres, the CLC said it also wanted...
(AFP (eng) 03/14/18)
The EU warned African and other countries on Wednesday that their citizens will find it harder to get visas to Europe if they refuse to readmit economic migrants under the bloc's efforts to curb migration. Brussels has been seeking greater cooperation from such countries to take back irregular migrants since Europe was hit in 2015 with its worst migration crisis since World War II. "I cannot understand how a country can refuse to take back its nationals" when they have...
(AFP (eng) 03/13/18)
Dozens of people were killed overnight in several villages in DR Congo's northeast province of Ituri, raising the toll of an ethnic conflict that has already caused tens of thousands to flee, officials said Tuesday. "We have recorded 30 deaths. There are certainly other bodies out in the bush. A search is underway," a government official said. Other sources gave a higher toll. "In the village of Djo, (the attackers) killed 10 people, in Gbi, there were 10 dead, and...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/13/18)
GOMA, Democratic Republic of Congo (Reuters) - At least 40 people have been killed in the last 48 hours in ethnic violence in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo between Hema cattle herders and Lendu farmers, a local official said on Tuesday. Fighting between the two groups instigated by Lendu-dominated militia has killed dozens since December. Tensions between Hema and Lendu had mostly laid dormant since a 1999-2007 conflict in which tens of thousands of people died. Local officials and activists...

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