Tag Archives: Congo

EU condemns Ituri massacres

Brussels 03.06.2021 “The European Union condemns in the strongest terms the massacres of civilians committed in recent days in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in particular in the Provinces of Ituri and North Kivu. The EU reiterates its concern over the continuing activities of armed groups accused of war crimes and serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in these provinces.

The perpetrators of these acts must be brought to justice by the authorities.

“The European Union renews its commitment to respect for international humanitarian law by all stakeholders. It invites the Congolese authorities and the security forces engaged to strengthen the protection of civilian populations.

“The European Union reaffirms its support for all those who are engaged as close as possible to the populations to face the consequences of the eruption of the Nyiragongo volcano and to come to the aid of the populations displaced either because of the persistence of insecurity or because of the natural disasters. The safety of humanitarian workers and their free access to disaster areas are essential conditions for ensuring the protection and support of affected populations.

“Efforts to tackle the causes of insecurity and instability in the eastern provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo must be accelerated and translated into action”.

Nyiragongo volcano: no victims reported

Brussels 23.05.2021 The volcanic eruption seems to have subsided, according to the Goma Volcano Observatory, which monitors the volcano. Authorities in the city activated an evacuation plan as a precaution.
The volcano’s last major eruption in 2002 killed 250 people and displaced thousands.
Goma is on the edge of Lake Kivu on the Democratic Republic of Congo’s border with Rwanda. The current urban area population of Goma in 2021 is 670,000, according to a projection by the UN, World Bank and others.

Peyre-Costa from Norwegian Refugee Council, who is residing in Goma, said a number of nongovernmental organisations in the region believe Goma’s population is closer to one million.

Volcanologist Honore Chiraba of the Goma Volcano Observatory told CNN there are two fractures in the volcano. Chiraba is following the volcanic activity closely with the governor of North Kivu, the province where the city of Goma is located. “The lava is flowing but not very fast,” Chiraba said. “At this stage we don’t think anyone is injured but we can’t know for sure.”

DRC: Nyiragongo volcano erupted

Brussels 23.05.2021 02:30 UPDATE: UPDATE: according to ICCN officials, the lava has slowed down drastically.

Brussels 23.05.2021 The Mount Nyiragongo volcano burst into activity Saturday, May 22, spewing red fumes into the night sky, said an AFP reporter in the nearby Democratic Republic of Congo city of Goma. Power was cut in the city and some residents began leaving their homes and heading towards the nearby border with Rwanda.

The last time Nyiragongo erupted was January 17, 2002, killing more than a hundred people and covering almost all of the eastern part of Goma with lava, including half of the airport’s landing strip.

Hundreds of thousands fled the city. The deadliest eruption of the 3,000-metre high volcano was in 1977, when more than 600 died. The Goma region, which lies in North Kivu province, bordering Rwanda and Uganda, has six volcanoes, all higher than 3,000 metres.

A lava flow from the Nyiragongo volcano, in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), reached the airport in the city of Goma, on the southern slope of the volcano, an official said on Saturday (May 22nd). local. “The situation has worsened,” noted in a message to his staff, an official of the Virunga National Park, where the volcano is located.

The sudden eruption caused panic among the population, who fled en masse to neighboring Rwanda, or heading west, to the Masisi region. On the night of Saturday to Monday, impressive images circulated on social networks, but not independently verified, showed homes on fire, slowly swallowed and then engulfed by glowing molten lava, in the northeastern outskirts of Goma. , especially in the Buhene district.

The deadliest eruption occurred in 1977 with over 600 deaths. According to a scenario that may turn out to be similar to the eruption on Saturday, lava slowly flowed towards the city, which it cut in two to flow into Lake Kivu.

Eid: Clashes in Kinshasa

Brussels 14.05.2021 A police officer in Democratic Republic of the Congo’s capital Kinshasa was beaten to death and 46 others were wounded as rival Muslim groups clashed during Eid celebrations on Thursday, a police spokesman said.

Members of two opposing camps vying for leadership positions in Congo’s Muslim community wrangled outside Kinshasa’s Martyrs Stadium Thursday morning, where they had planned to worship together as a demonstration of unity.

“Unfortunately, there were extremists who didn’t want the two groups to pray together today,” said Sylvano Kasongo, the chief the Kinshasa police.

Officers fired tear gas and warning shots to disperse the crowd. Rioters threw stones and destroyed a police vehicle.

DRC: Italy investigators head to Goma

An investigation Italian Carabinieri unit is expected in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) today, February 23, to establish the facts of the assassination of the Italian Ambassador Luca Attanasio. The mission will be accomplished with the support of the Congolese authorities and the United Nations Mission in Congo.
The remains of Italian Ambassador and the officer will be repatriated Tuesday to Kinshasa before heading to Rome, according to local media reports.

Congo’s government has blamed the Rwandan Hutu rebel group known as FDLR for the killings, a charge they have denied. Congo’s insecure east is home to more than 120 armed rebel groups.

Democratic Republic of Congo has already dispatched a team to support investigators on the ground in Goma,the capital of North Kivu province, where the Italian Ambassador, an Italian Carabinieri police officer and their local driver were ambushed and killed Monday, February 22.

Rwandan Hutu rebels denied allegations they were behind the assassination of the Italian ambassador to the DRC and instead accused the armies of the DR Congo and Rwanda of responsibility.

DRC: Italy Ambassador Assassination

Brussels 22.02.2021 “With all the EU foreign ministers, we expressed our closeness to the minister Luigi di Maio
and to Italy for the death of three people in DRC including the Italian ambassador Luca Attanasio.
We remain determined to continue to fight against all violence in the region” the EU top diplomat said, while reacting upon the assassination.

Italy’s ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo and two others have been killed in an attempted kidnapping targeting a United Nations convoy in the east of the Central African country.

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has expressed its deepest sympathy and condolences to the family, colleagues and friends of three people killed, today, in an attack on a delegation travelling on a field visit in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

A number of other passengers travelling with the delegation sustained injuries during the attack.

The three fatalities have been identified as the Italian Ambassador to DRC, Luca Attanasio, an Italian embassy official, and a WFP driver.

The delegation was travelling from Goma to visit a WFP school feeding programme in Rutshuru when the incident took place.
WFP will work with national authorities to determine the details behind the attack, which occurred on a road that had previously been cleared for travel without security escorts. WFP is in close contact with the Italian authorities through its offices at its Rome headquarters and in the DRC.

The United Nations World Food Programme is the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. We are the world’s largest humanitarian organisation, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.

ICC: Uganda Ongwen-victim and villain

04.02.2021 The Hague, The Netherlands: War crimes judges deliver their verdict in the case of Dominic Ongwen, a Ugandan child soldier turned top field commander in the Lord’s Resistance Army, a rebel group known for extreme violence and forcing women into sexual slavery.

Ongwen, 45, faces 70 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity and could be imprisoned for life if convicted. Judges will not address sentencing on Thursday, February 4.

Ongwen’s case is complex because under the law “you have either a victim or a perpetrator and anything in between is very difficult to squeeze in,” said Barbora Hola, senior researcher at the Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement.

The ruling at the International Criminal Court (ICC) will be the first dealing with crimes by the LRA, New York-based Human Rights Watch said.

It highlights the difficulty of trying somebody who, as a conscripted child soldier, is both an alleged perpetrator and a victim. His lawyers have asked for acquittal.

Detained in 2015, Ongwen remains in the court’s custody, and his 3.5-year-trial ended in March 2020.

Ongwen’s lawyer insisted that the brutal life in the LRA affected his mental health and his capacity to make independent decisions.

“When Ongwen was abducted he had no option, he was made a slave. That slavery continued until he left the bush,” lawyer Krispus Odongo said to the judges in closing arguments.

But prosecutors countered that Ongwen was an adult at the time of the alleged offences and cannot be excused of responsibility.

Led by fugitive warlord Joseph Kony, the LRA terrorized Ugandans for nearly two decades as it battled the government of President Yoweri Museveni from bases in the north of the country and in what is now South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic.

The case at the ICC focused on 2002-2005, when prosecutors said members of the LRA carried out crimes including murder, rape, sexual slavery, forced marriage, torture, pillaging and the conscription of children under the age of 15 for fighting.

After being abducted by the LRA as a boy, Ongwen worked his way up to a commander, overseeing the Sinia Brigade, one of the group’s four main operational units with up to 800 fighters.

DR COngo: government dismissal acceptance

The official resignation declaration from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) President Thisekedi acceptance of government dismissal has been signed, but there is no official reaction from former President and senator for life Joseph Kabila and Common Front for Congo (FCC). Political turmoil will persist in the coming months in the DRC.

Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) Prime Minister Sylvestre Ilunga Ilunkamba resigned on Friday,January 29, the presidency said, a move that will enable President Felix Tshisekedi to rid the government of his predecessor’s allies and push through his own policies.

Ilunga, an ally of former President Joseph Kabila, stepped down after parliament passed a no-confidence motion on Wednesday, January 27, the latest in a series of political victories for Tshisekedi over Kabila in recent weeks.

Ilunga “has just handed in his resignation,” the presidency said on Twitter. “He said he had taken note of the evolution of the current political situation.”

Ilunga this week initially called into question the no-confidence vote against him, before accepting its legitimacy on January 28.

DRC: clashes in Parliament

Brussels 08.12.2020 Congo’s parliament descended into chaos on December 8 as rival political groups threw chairs and buckets in a brawl that laid bare the tensions caused by the incumbent President Felix Tshisekedi’s to terminate his alliance with his predecessor, Joseph Kabila.

Tshisekedi announced on December 6 scheduled to cancel his governing coalition with allies of Kabila, while Kabila’s supporters claimed the move was illegal.

The standoff has raised fears of instability in the Republic whose economy has been hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, and whose recent history has been touched by repeated civil wars and political upheaval.

The parliament fight broke out in the main hall of the building between lawmakers and supporters from the two parties, one of whom appeared to be wielding a machete.

Tshisekedi’s supporters, some with sartorial look, hurled chairs, wooden batons and plastic buckets up a staircase toward Kabila partisans who bounced back.

One man was carried away bleeding injury on the head. The police had to disperse the belligerent groups with tear gas.

The two camps have a long history of bad blood. Tshisekedi and his late father were longtime opponents of Kabila, who governed from 2001 to January 2019.

Tshisekedi agreed to the coalition after his victory in the disputed 2018 election, in which he defeated Kabila’s chosen successor but Kabila allies won majorities in parliament, entitling them to most cabinet posts.

Frustrated by his inability to move on with his agenda, Tshisekedi said that he would try to form a new majority in parliament and, if unsuccessful, would call for new parliamentary elections.

Kabila, who stepped down last year under domestic and international pressure not to seek a third mandate, is eligible to run again in 2023.

DRC: end of Ebola outbreak

Democratic Republic of Congo’s health minister announced the end of an Ebola outbreak in the west of the country that infected 130 people and killed 55.

The outbreak emerged in June, just before Congo declared the end of a separate Ebola epidemic in the east that was the second-deadliest on record, killing more than 2,200 people.

“A heartfelt thank you to everyone who tirelessly tracked down cases, provided treatment & vaccinated people in often remote communities tucked away in dense rain forests,” the World Health Organization’s Africa director, Matshidiso Moeti, said on Twitter after the minister’s announcement.

Congo has suffered 11 Ebola outbreaks since the virus was discovered near the Ebola River in 1976, more than double any other country.

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