Friday 23 February 2018
(AFP (eng) 02/22/18)
KAMPALA (Reuters) - Twenty-six refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo have died in a camp in Uganda from acute diarrhea, and hundreds more cases have been registered, an official from the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR said on Thursday. The East African country’s refugee population has risen sharply recently as people flood in from eastern Congo, where resurgent ethnic and inter-communal violence has uprooted hundreds of thousands. Duniya Aslam Khan, spokeswoman for the UNHCR in Uganda, said health workers from the World Health Organisation, U.N. children’s fund UNICEF and Medecins Sans Frontieres had identified “acute watery diarrhea” in camps in western Uganda. She said the condition had already killed 26 refugees from Feb. 15...
(AFP (eng) 02/22/18)
Authorities in DR Congo on Wednesday unveiled an electronic voting machine that will be used in key elections this year, despite accusations that the technology could skew the outcome. The Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) showed off the machine to reporters, saying it was essential for conducting presidential, legislative and local elections due on December 23. "It's not a cheating machine (but) a machine to simplify... (and) reduce costs," said Jean-Pierre Kalamba, CENI's rapporteur. On February 13, CENI chief Corneille Nangaa declared, "Without voting machines, there won't be elections on December 23 2018."
(AFP (eng) 02/22/18)
In global markets the price of cobalt, a mineral used in batteries for high-tech products from iPhones to Tesla electric cars, has nearly tripled to $81,500 a tonne in two years. But in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which produced two-thirds of the global supply of the coveted metal last year, artisanal diggers called "creuseurs" sell their best-quality ore for about $7,000 a tonne, blissfully unaware of how much the global price has rocketed. In Kolwezi, a mining town in...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/22/18)
KIGALI (Reuters) - Rwandan police fired tear gas on Thursday to disperse at least 3,000 Congolese refugees who had been protesting for two days at a United Nations refugee office in western Rwanda against a reduction in food rations at their camp, witnesses said. “The situation here is bad. They are firing the tear gas,” Pastor Kamanzi, 50, told Reuters from the town of Karongi. The refugees had left their camp in Kiziba, some 15 km from Karongi, to protest...
(AFP (eng) 02/21/18)
Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila has named his party secretary general Henri Mova Sakanyi as the new interior minister and deputy prime minister, state television reported Tuesday. He replaces Emmanuel Ramazani Shadari, who has been in the post since December 2016. "This is no surprise for those who are familiar with the management of state affairs," a presidency source told AFP, without giving any further explanation. "This is not a disavowal" of Shadari, another source said, citing recent reforms to the statutes of Kabila's ruling People's Party for Reconstruction and Democracy (PPRD). The reforms, published last month, include the abolition of the party...
(AFP (eng) 02/21/18)
A Congolese humanitarian worker, kidnapped at the weekend in the troubled east of DR Congo by an armed group that killed two of his colleagues, has been freed, his NGO said Tuesday. "He was freed yesterday (Monday)... We found him with several cuts on his face," said Richard Kahindo, head of the NGO Hydraulique sans Frontieres (HYFRO), which specialises in water purification projects. The release of the abducted aid worker was also confirmed to AFP by local official Francois Bakundakabo...
(AFP (eng) 02/20/18)
Two Congolese aid workers were killed and a third abducted by an unidentified armed group in the troubled North Kivu province of Democratic Republic of Congo, the United Nations said Monday. "We lost two fellow aid workers killed in the line of duty by unidentified armed people," the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a statement. The three men were employed by the Congolese NGO Hydraulique Sans Frontieres (HYFRO), which specialises in water purification projects, when attacked on Saturday near the village of Mushikiri. OCHA said it "strongly condemns this latest attack" and called for "the immediate and unconditional release of the person held hostage".
(AFP (eng) 02/19/18)
Five people were killed Saturday in an ambush by suspected Ugandan Islamist rebels in the Beni region of Democratic Republic of Congo's chronically troubled east, officials said. Local official Leon Bahungako said the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) group were behind the attack in which three women and two men were killed and eight people wounded on the road between the towns of Eringeti and Oisha in the North Kivu province. Government forces last month launched an offensive in Beni against...
(AFP (eng) 02/19/18)
About 224 million people are suffering from malnutrition across Africa as climate change and conflicts heighten food insecurity across the continent, a top UN food agency official said Monday. The official, speaking at a conference on Africa organised by the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), said the situation was a "cause of concern" as the continent's population was expected to reach 1.7 billion by 2030. "Under-nourishment appears to have increased from about 21 percent to nearly 23 percent between...
(AFP (eng) 02/16/18)
Six soldiers died in fighting to repel an incursion by Rwandan troops in eastern DR Congo this week, the army announced on Friday. The Congolese army recorded "a total of six dead and four wounded, two of them with serious injuries," General Bruno Mandevu told a press conference. On Tuesday, heavy fighting broke out "on Congolese soil", close to the Rwandan border at the foot of Mount Mikeno in North Kivu province, the army said. Congolese army patrols exchanged fire...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/16/18)
GOMA, Democratic Republic of Congo (Reuters) - Five Congolese soldiers were killed, a senior army officer said on Friday, in a clash with Rwandan forces this week that now risks inflaming tensions between two neighbors with a long history of troubled relations. The two countries dispute which side of the poorly demarcated border the clash took place on, each accusing the other’s forces of violating the frontier. They have called upon the ICGLR, a body representing regional governments, to visit the scene of Tuesday’s clash to investigate. In addition to those killed, six other Congolese soldiers were wounded in the incident, two of them seriously, said General Bruno Mandevu...
(AFP (eng) 02/16/18)
The UN Children's Fund on Friday said it had recorded 76 cases of people killed in ethnic violence in Democratic Republic of Congo's Ituri province since December, mostly women and children. UNICEF is "very concerned about the situation of more than 46,000 children who are on the run because of the violence" between the Hema herders and Lendu farmers, which flared up during the Second Congo War (1998-2003). "More than 76 cases of murder ... have been documented, among them...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/16/18)
BENI, Democratic Republic of Congo (Reuters) - A humanitarian disaster in eastern Congo is quickly worsening as aid agencies have been forced to pull back due to growing insecurity and slashed budgets, the head of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) said on Wednesday. More than 4.4 million people have been displaced in Democratic Republic of Congo amid rampant violence that has been aggravated by a political crisis sparked by President Joseph Kabila’s refusal to step down at the end of...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/16/18)
DAKAR (Reuters) - Democratic Republic of Congo’s oil minister on Thursday defended the country’s right to explore for oil anywhere on its territory after media reports that President Joseph Kabila approved drilling in Africa’s largest tropical rainforest reserve. Oil minister Aime Ngoy Mukena declined to confirm a report in Germany’s Die Tageszeitung newspaper that Kabila had this month authorized exploration inside Salonga National Park, but he said that no land should be off-limits. Salonga, a UNESCO World Heritage site, covers...
(AFP (eng) 02/15/18)
he United Nations said Wednesday it had registered 18 alleged cases of sexual abuse and exploitation by its peacekeepers and civilian personnel in the Democratic Republic of the Congo last year. Fourteen of the allegations involve paternity cases or complainants seeking "care for children born out of relationships," said Adama Ndao, head of the conduct and discipline unit at MONUSCO, the UN's peacekeeping mission in the country. Some incidents relate to events that date back as far as 2013, she...
(AFP (eng) 02/15/18)
The International Rescue Committee on Wednesday confirmed three cases of sexual abuse under its watch in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, saying police were informed and those involved dismissed. The admission comes with the international aid sector rocked by growing public allegations of sexual misconduct, already implicating British-based charity Oxfam and the French group Doctors Without Borders. On Wednesday, British tabloid The Sun said London initially froze funding to IRC, headed by Britain's former foreign minister David Miliband, over...
(AFP (eng) 02/14/18)
Heavy fighting broke out between the Rwandan and Congolese military in troubled eastern DR Congo after an incursion by Rwandan troops, according to a Congolese army spokesman. Investigations are underway to see if the clashes occurred because of a problem with border demarcation. The fighting occurred on Tuesday "on Congolese soil" close to the Rwandan border at the foot of Mount Nikeno in North Kivu province, Major Guillaume Djike told AFP. A senior officer in the DRC army, on condition of anonymity, told AFP: "There have been deaths on both sides." Congolese army patrols exchanged fire with Rwandan army positions some 100 metres (yards) inside DR Congo...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/14/18)
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley on Monday asked the Congolese foreign minister to deliver a message to President Joseph Kabila about the killing of two U.N. investigators: “Please ask Mr. Kabila what he did with my list.” The list, which Haley told Kabila about when she met with him in Kinshasa in October, is of verified names of individuals involved in the murders of Zaida Catalan and Michael Sharp in March 2017, said...
(AFP (eng) 02/14/18)
Three soldiers and two civilians were killed and 11 other people injured in an accident involving DR Congo President Joseph Kabila's motorcade, his office said Wednesday. The accident happened on a road in the southwest of the country, 220 kilometres (110 miles) south of Kinshasa, as Kabila was returning to the capital on Tuesday. "Last night, a vehicle in the presidential motorcade was hit on the Matadi highway at Kimpese by a truck carrying cement," communications official Yvon Ramazani told...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/14/18)
DAKAR (Reuters) - The British government said it has frozen 580,000 pounds ($802,894) in assets held by several dozen militia leaders, army officers and private organizations with ties to Democratic Republic of Congo. The freezes were mandated by the European Union as part of a sanctions regime imposed by the United Nations. Economic Secretary John Glen had written on the UK parliament website in response to an MP’s question that the total sum seized was 580 million pounds before his...

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