Saturday 21 April 2018
(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. He had been kidnapped on Saturday near the village of Mushikiri in North Kivu after his vehicle, also carrying three other colleagues, was attacked by unidentified armed men. Two colleagues, an engineer and the driver, were killed while a third...
(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 the ADF, one of a number of armed groups that hold territory in the eastern DR Congo and are battling for control of the region's rich mineral resources. "It was the ADF who attacked their vehicle and killed or injured...
(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 2015 and 2016," Bukar Tijani, FAO's assistant director general for Africa, said at the regional conference that opened on Monday in Khartoum. "Over the same period, the number of under-nourished rose from 200 million to 224 million in Africa. This...
(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 with Rwandan army positions some 100 metres (yards) inside DR Congo before their respective governments spoke and intervened, a military spokesman said. Mandevu, who is in charge of an operation against Rwandan rebels in the area, said the casualties occurred...
(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 a majority of women and children," the UN agency said in a statement indicating that the victims were all hacked or stabbed to death. The governor of the northeastern Ituri province, Abdallah Pene Mbaka, told AFP he was sceptical about...
(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 his mandate in 2016. While conflict in the central Kasai region eased last year, persistent clashes between government soldiers, local militias and foreign rebels in the eastern borderlands have worsened. “We are overwhelmed and underfunded,” NRC head Jan Egeland told...
(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 33,350 sq km of the Congo Basin, the world’s second-largest rainforest. It is home to rare species including bonobos, forest elephants, dwarf chimpanzees and Congo peacocks. The park in central Congo’s Cuvette Centrale also sits on peatlands that scientists say...
(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 said, adding that complainants were being offered "psychological and medical support". "All allegations are being investigated by the competent structures," Ndao said. The 18 registered allegations are one fewer case than the 19 claims of sexual abuse or exploitation made...
(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 concerns about 37 allegations of fraud, sex abuse and bribery in DR Congo. An IRC spokeswoman told AFP the New York-based organization had substantiated three cases "related to sexual abuse" in DR Congo, saying "the staff were dismissed and the...
(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 the U.S. mission to the United Nations. Haley told Kabila “that justice for their murders was a priority for the United States,” the U.S. mission said. Sharp, an American, and Catalan, a Swede, were killed in central Congo while carrying...
(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 AFP on Wednesday. "Three soldiers in the Republican Guard were killed along with two civilians who were nearby," he said. Seven soldiers and four civilians were also injured, Ramazani said, adding that the accident had been caused by heavy rain...
(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 office corrected the figure later on Wednesday. Glen provided no details of the assets themselves. Leaders of Congo’s dozens of militia groups, government officials and military officers have long enriched themselves by trafficking minerals, imposing illegal taxes and stealing public...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/14/18)
GENEVA (Reuters) - Over 22,000 people fled Congo to Uganda last week following a surge of ethnic violence in the northeast, raising the total number of arrivals to about 34,000 since the start of the year, the U.N. Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said on Tuesday. At least 30 people have been killed in fighting between Hema herders and Lendu farmers in the province of Ituri this month, echoing clashes that killed thousands of Hema and Lendu during a civil war that ended in 2003. “We have seen in the last weeks that on average around 3,000 people are fleeing [Ituri] per day,” said UNHCR spokesperson Babar Baloch during a press briefing in Geneva, adding that thousands remained stranded on the Congolese...
(AFP (eng) 02/13/18)
DR Congo's long-delayed election due on December 23 to choose a successor to long-serving ruler Joseph Kabila will not take place without electronic voting machines, the poll chief said Tuesday "Without voting machines, there will be no elections on December 23, 2018," election commission head Corneille Nangaa said. The threat came a day after the United States, France, Britain and four other UN Security Council members on Kabila to publicly declare that he will not run for election this year. Washington separately asked Kinshasa to scrap plans to use electronic voting for the first time in elections this year, saying it risked undermining the credibility of the historic polls.
(AFP (eng) 02/13/18)
The United States, France, Britain and four other UN Security Council members on Monday urged DR Congo's President Joseph Kabila to publicly declare that he will not run for election this year. After much delay, the DR Congo will hold elections on December 23 that are expected to pave the way to the first peaceful transfer of power in the vast mineral-rich country, ending Kabila's 17-year-rule. Kabila, 46, has not yet clearly stated whether he will step aside. In a joint statement, seven of the 15 Security Council members said Kabila's "public commitment not to seek a third term or change the constitution would be crucial to instill confidence in the electoral process." Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea, the Netherlands and...
(AFP (eng) 02/13/18)
About 200,000 people have been displaced in ethnic clashes since mid-December in the northeastern Ituri province of the Democratic Republic of Congo, a humanitarian source told AFP Tuesday. Another humanitarian source said "on an average 800 people are arriving daily" in Bunia, the main city in the region, due to fighting between the Hema and Lendu communities. Hema herders and Lendu farmers have been locked in violence in Ituri for decades, with tens of thousands killed from 1999 to 2003. "Since mid-December about 200,000 people have been displaced in Ituri due to the violence," the first humanitarian source said. The UN in Kampala meanwhile said over 22,000 refugees had fled to Uganda recently to escape violence has left several dead...
(AFP (eng) 02/13/18)
Over 22,000 refugees have fled fighting in Democratic Republic of Congo to neighbouring Uganda, violence that has left several dead and villages torched, the UN said Tuesday. At least four refugees drowned while crossing the waters of Lake Albert between the two nations, the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, said. "Last week, over 22,000 Congolese crossed Lake Albert to Uganda in three days, bringing the total number of people from the DRC arriving in the country to about 34,000 since the beginning of the year," UNHCR said Tuesday. "The refugees use small canoes or overcrowded and rickety fishing boats, often carrying more than 250 people and taking up to 10 hours to cross." Violence erupted earlier in February in DR Congo's...

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