Ethno-Net Database: Congo - Kinshasa


CONGO (Kinshasa)

Other data on Congo - Kinshasa / Autres données sur le Congo - Kinshasa
Afrique du Sud



Côte d'Ivoire








Amnesty urges end to carnage, economic exploitation
RCD-Goma rebel delegation arrives in Kinshasa
Dissolution de la Cour d'ordre militaire; 70 prisonniers amnistiés
Hundreds flee fighting in Uvira
Les troupes ougandaises amorcent leur retrait de l'Ituri
Kabila nominates first of four vice presidents
Le RCD-Goma participera au Comite national de suivi
MONUC releases report on November 2002 Ankoro massacre'
Ituri braces for Ugandan pullout
Le gouvernement réclame un échéancier pour le retrait des troupes ougandaises de RDC
La commission de l'Ituri adopte des mesures conservatoires pour mettre fin aux hostilités
International Committee meets to follow up on Sun City accord
Rebels declare Kabila's inauguration ''invalid
DRC conflict deadliest since World War II
Kabila sworn in as head of transitional government
Uganda must protect Civilians in Ituri
Kagame denies troop presence in DRC
Kabila promulgue une nouvelle constitution
Catholic bishops and aid agency urge US Congress to support peace
Ituri Pacification Commission inaugurated
Les parties signent un accord de paix
Situation inchangée pour les enfants soldats
More information on D.R. Congo
Dossier spécial d'IRIN sur la situation dans l'Ituri
Rapports sur les relations éthniques / Reports on Ethnic Relations

The following section is consisted of part, full or summaries of articles from diverses sources (newspapers, newsletters, etc...).
La section suivante est constituée d'exraits, de la totalité ou de résumés d'articles provenant d'origines diverses (journaux,bulletins, etc..).

04 / 17 / 2003 


The Article:
"MONUC releases report on November 2002 Ankoro massacre''

At least 70 people were killed during fighting in November 2002 between government forces and Mayi Mayi militia in Ankoro, in northern Katanga province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the UN Mission in the DRC, MONUC, said in a report on Wednesday. A joint team from MONUC and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights which visited Ankoro from 7 to 9 April found that the killings followed clashes between the regular army, armed Congolese forces and the pro-government Mayi Mayi militia. MONUC_s reports and information officer, Patricia Tome, said the death toll could be higher. "These figures could be revised upwards because the victims were people displaced by the war who had settled in Ankoro," she told IRIN. She said the list of victims had been compiled after discussions with the head of the local administration, leaders of the Mayi Mayi militia and family members. Human rights groups and local priests in Ankoro described shortly after the massacre how houses were burnt and some bodies thrown into the river in an attempt by soldiers to hide the evidence.The UN report said calm had now returned to Ankoro and that people who had been affected were receiving food from international NGOs."In this respect, MONUC is pleased that serious violations of human rights won't go unpunished," Tome said.

The Article: "Ituri braces for Ugandan pullout''

Without exception, the humanitarian organisations in Ituri District say security remains their uttermost concern in continuing their relief work in this part of the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.The killing on 3 April of Hema in Drodro town and 14 surrounding villages in Ituri underscored this concern and the continued danger to people of the district. These concerns remain as the date for the start of the Ugandan troop pullout nears.Uganda's presence in Ituri has drawn considerable criticism. Some of that criticism has been directed at its alleged past role in playing off the Hema and Lendu communities in Ituri against each other, thus spreading instability to justify its presence in the mineral-rich district. Some Ugandan military officers who have served in Ituri have also been blamed for exploiting the natural resources of the district. The result has been international pressure for the Uganda People's Defence Forces (UPDF) to begin leaving the DRC, a departure now set for 24 April.Yet observers of the political scene in Ituri worry that if a Ugandan pullout leaves a security vacuum a disaster could follow swiftly. "If there is the slightest security vacuum, there'll be genocide here," one analyst in Bunia told IRIN.Expectations are that Thomas Lubanga's Congolese rebel group, the Union des patriotes congolais (UPC), ousted from Bunia by the UPDF on 6 March, would try to make a comeback and fighting between Lendu and Hema would erupt anew. Uganda has repeatedly called for a neutral international force in Ituri to fill any vacuum when its forces leave. Also, it has suggested that the Congolese government organize a security structure for the district. The commander of Ugandan forces in Ituri, Brig Kale Kayihura, drove that message home at the opening of the Ituri Pacification Commission (IPC) meeting on 4 April. "We are anxious to withdraw back to our country. Indeed, we are even ready to withdraw before the date of 24 April, 2003," told delegates. An 18-member body of the IPC is assessing the security context of Ituri and will submit recommendations to a district assembly that is to be set up to govern Ituri. So, despite the calls for an international force for Ituri, the IPC for the moment has responsibility for security in the district after the withdrawal of the Ugandans.

Need for international force
Another analyst told IRIN it was dangerous to ask UPDF to leave Ituri beginning 24 April without providing an alternate security formula for the district. "Peace needs to be created with a military presence," the analyst told IRIN. The analyst, who has a military background, told IRIN that to provide security, Ituri would need at least three mobile infantry brigades and one airmobile battalion for quick reaction.In addition, an international police force of between 400 and 600, as well as 200 advisers were needed, the analyst said. The immediate installation of an international criminal court and the clearly declared presence of the DRC government in Ituri were a must, the analyst added, to bring legitimacy to these actions. "If no force replaces the UPDF with a peace enforcement mandate, there'll be no peace," the analyst said. Failing that, another long-time analyst of Ituri said, the international community could pay for Uganda to carry out peace operations on condition its force cooperate with UN military observers and that the operation is conducted under the command of the present Ugandan force commander, [Brig Kale] Kayihura who has been credited with bringing relative stability to Ituri. He said a neutral force would need at least two mobile infantry brigades with land and air transport. (One brigade consists of about three battalions or 2,400 men.) "The incoming force would also need an air monitoring capability to cover Ituri," Kayihura said.

Uganda's entry into Ituri
Uganda has denied its presence in Ituri is for material gain. Kayihura told IRIN there were several issues related Uganda's presence in Ituri: for example the need to secure the IPC process, which was concluded on 13 April; the need to eliminate the presence of the Ugandan dissident group, the People's Redemption Army (PRA) in Kwandruma, about 80 km northeast of Bunia; the need to halt the shelling of Uganda from Ituri; and the need to stop armed cattle rustlers from crossing from Ituri into Uganda.Kayihura said these PRA dissidents, led by former UPDF Col Eddison Muzoora, lieutenant colonels Samson Mande and Antony Kyakabale were linked to Ugandan politician and a former army colonel, Kiiza Besigye. Kayihura said the bulk of the PRA's arms had come through the Congolese rebel UPC group to the Aburo Hills in eastern Ituri, south of Kwandruma. "This group [the PRA] is allied with Thomas Lubanga's UPC and the Lendu of Kpawdroma," he said. "The PRA wants to go to West Nile and link up with the Joseph Kony's Lords Resistance Army. "However, Kayihura said the UPDF had deployed along the axis to Uganda's West Nile Province, near the northwest tip of Uganda and the border with the Congo, to block the move.Ugandan jet bombers destroyed the PRA camp and airstrip at Kwandruma, Kayihura said. Scared by this action, he added, the Lendu in the area turned in 22 PRA loyal to Muzoora, but he escaped to the Blue Mountains, east of Fataki. Kayihura said this group "was neutralized" on 16 March, forcing the PRA to scatter. Four of the PRA surrendered to UDPF in Bunia, he said.Besigye, a former Ugandan presidential candidate, has denied any link with the PRA. A privately owned Kampala daily, The Monitor, reported him as saying on 12 April that the PRA was "a concoction" of the Ugandan intelligence services "competing for a cut in the hefty budget of the intelligence industry".

Disposition of the Congolese UPC
Kayihura said the remaining UPC elements and the PRA were allies. He said they were concentrated and were reorganising around Drodro, Largo, and Mblukwa. Some of Lubanga's remnant 'army" and those of the PRA, he said, were moving towards Lake Albert along a north-south line running from Largo to Kasenyi, a lakeside town southeast of Bunia. Ugandan troops have now confined them along the lakeshore between Lidyo and Kwandruma, Kayihura said.The UPC retreat followed their expulsion from Bunia. Observers and residents of Bunia say that before Ugandan troops moved into Bunia under Kayihura, Lubanga had introduced a harsh regime spreading fear among people in Bunia. Movement of people was curtailed to the point where access to different parts of the district was close to impossible.Ugandan forces moved into central Bunia after the UPC shelled the UPDF's tactical headquarters at the airport and planted four mines across the airport road. The attack had been expected since 1 March after the UPC former chief of intelligence, Ali Ngabo, and other local informants passed intelligence to the UPDF.

Improved security
Whatever the reasons for Uganda's entry into the DRC, observers in Ituri told IRIN that since UPDF troops forced the UPC out of Bunia, security has improved considerably in Ituri. Prior to 6 March some UPC members had broken with Lugana, signed a cessation of hostilities agreement and took part in the IPC meeting. Under this political climate, roads have reopened, Bunia's residents are able to walk the streets without fear, and food has started appearing in the town's tiny market. The Ugandan army says it has reopened the Bunia-Kasenyi road and has enabled fish catches to reach Bunia's market. The Bunia-Komanda and Bunia-Djungu roads are also open. "Following the defeat of the UPC at the hands of the UPDF on 6 March, 2003, and its retreat from Bunia, wide swathes and entire communities of the Ituri District that had been hitherto inaccessible to humanitarian workers may now become accessible," OCHA reported in its draft Open Ituri Humanitatrian Action Plan document.

Lendu, Hema rivalry
A security vacuum, analysts said, would probably lead to the resurgence of the worst forms of Lendu-Hema rivalry. The underlying and complex web of ethnic rivalries in Ituri that date back centuries appears to be at the core of Ituri's current problems. The sharpest differences have been between the two leading communities, the Lendu and the Hema. In Djugu territory, in the centre of Ituri District, the Lendu (a Sudanic ethnic group) are pitted against the northern Hema, also know as the Gerere, who are a pastoral people. In the southern Ituri area of Gety, the southern Hema are pitted up against the Ngiti, also a Sudanic group. The north and south Hema are allied against the Lendu and Ngiti who, although ethnically the same, speak different languages. Age-old land feuds between Lendu and Hema grew in intensity with the breakdown of government control in Ituri and with the power play of foreign and local political heavyweights. "There was no protection so little by little communities started to protect themselves," Ruhigwa Baguma, a Hema chief and delegate to the IPC, told IRIN. Baguma, who is a professor of agronomy, said gold, timber, Coltan and fish are the new spoils for which the rivals were fighting. Other analysts said that because of their cattle wealth, the Hema were traditionally stronger than Lendu, who worked the land. When state control broke down in the district, the Lendu attempted to break their underling status. Where previously they used bows and arrows to settle scores, the proliferation of arms increased the intensity and volume of violence. "The anger with which these killings have been carried out is indescribable," Kayihura said. Another analyst told IRIN that with the absence of a central political force, politics was determined by attempts by all major groups to promote their interests at the cost of the welfare of communities, thereby destroying any peaceful coexistence. The Lendu north chief delegate to the IPC, Larry Thewi Batsi, told IRIN that the Hema, with help from Uganda, had burned small Lendu localities in Ituri, forcing them to take up arms like cutlasses against attackers and that the situation deteriorated until 2001. Batsi claimed that when the pro-Kinshasa government Rassemblement congolais pour la democratie-Mouvement de liberation (RCD-ML) ruled the area, Uganda sided with the Hema. Under RCD-ML rule in Ituri, there was a brief phase of stability and serious attempts to reconcile the society, an analyst told IRIN. This was an initiative of a provincial governor who was not a member of any Ituri ethnic group. When Ugandan troops the governor in August 2002, the Hema-Gerere communities (that dominated the UPC) took over the administration and the UPC assumed its repressive rule of other communities, the analyst said. Soon various ethnic militias formed self-defence units and political parties set up paramilitary forces "operating uncontrolled throughout Ituri". German Agro Action, which fights hunger worldwide, estimates that 80,000 IDP families (some 224,000 individuals) were immediately victims of ongoing inter-ethnic fighting before, during and after the UPC took over Ituri. An estimated 40 percent of the district's total agricultural production was lost in 2002, and the economy collapsed as business and entrepreneurs fled the area. Extortion and persecution came with the UPC government. Ituri's main hospital at Nyankunde, west of Bunia, and adjacent villages were destroyed or looted by ethnic militia during September 2002. Analysts said constantly shifting alliances and the initial UPDF support to one particular community created an anarchic environment that never allowed Iturians to recover from a period of continuous persecution which began in 1997. However, that changed with the UN report on the exploitation of DRC's resources, and the UPC alliance with the Rwandan-backed RCD-Goma. With this knowledge, Uganda finally dropped its support for the UPC. "Museveni found out that if he supported UPC against other communities Uganda would be forced to leave Ituri [leaving him unable to defeat Ugandan dissidents]," an analyst told IRIN. "Uganda could only control Ituri with the cooperation of at least one of the major groups."

Factors hindering humanitarian access
Till recently, vulnerable communities in Ituri had been living under a climate of lawlessness and disorder. One local organisation said people were subject to extortion by any authority of the day, women were most at risk of abuse, and there was still a total lack of basic services. "Sometimes clothing is very difficult to acquire," a humanitarian worker told IRIN. In 2002, access was very restricted when the UPC denied aid agencies permission to go beyond Bunia's immediate surroundings, a representative of a humanitarian agency told IRIN. But, aid agencies said, UPDF had been cooperative. For example, the UPDF has been guarding WFP ware houses since 6 March and humanitarian actors are no longer targeted. Despite these improvements, the continued presence of pockets of armed groups, the very poor road network, hostile communities and the presence or suspected location of landmines still prevent full-scale humanitarian action district wide. The presence of mines in Ituri, planted by the UPC and earlier by the Armee populaire du Congo of Mbusa Nyamwise, has caused humanitarian agencies to limit the reach of their operational areas. After the UPC "cleared" out the Lendu Ngiti between Gety and Bogoro they planted mines along the road. In Irumu, 40 km west of Bunia, a UPDF soldier died from a mine blast. At Tchabi, southern Ituri, a civilian lost a foot. Mines have also been placed around wells, maiming people who have gone to fetch water. "Our concern today is these mines. There are areas suspected and areas of known land mines," a humanitarian worker told IRIN.UN Mine Action (known as UNMAS) and Handicap International are trying to locate and clear these areas of mines.For humanitarian actors to work effectively, there must be access to the vulnerable after the departure of the UPDF. Therefore the international community must follow through on the UPDF's efforts to pacify Ituri, observers say. "The presence of UPDF has brought so much good to the community in general," one political observer told IRIN.

Need for an assessment mission
After the departure of the UPDF, there will be need for several assessment missions to various communities. This is because many communities have been isolated for far too long. Huge segments of the population fled. Once security is guaranteed, many will want to return to their communities and will need housing, schools, health care, water, roads and farm implements. Some humanitarian organisations are ready to spring into full action once security improves. The UN World Food Programme (WFP) is unable to reach large areas such as Gety, in the south of Ituri and armed elements still exist. However, the agency is shipping food deliveries from Kasenyi to Bunia, although quantities are limited to 150 mt of relief food each week due to a lack of trucks, Robert Deckker, the WFP head of sub-office for North Kivu and Ituri, told IRIN. This year, WFP planned for 3,500 mt of food destined for nutritional centres and displaced people. Returnees are to get seed and agricultural tools. Families of malnourished are also to get aid. The agency's greatest priority is food security, which is linked to the overall physical security situation. There is fear among many agencies that if the UDPF leaves and a security vacuum forms there would be a lot more killings and displacements. "A power vacuum would destroy humanitarian operations," Deckker said. It would destroy the kind of work the FAO has been doing over the last three years in Ituri where there has been a "massive displacement" of farmers, Jean-Pierre Kandole, the leading FAO official in Ituri, said. In 2002, the agency helped 13,500 families with 33 mt of crops, hoes, seeds of corn, bean, groundnuts, soya and rice. In 2001, it distributed 10,000 hoes and 7.5 mt of crops and in 2002 - using OCHA finance - it helped IDPs, their host families and returnees in market gardening. "We served 10,000 families who were given crops, hoes, rakes, shovels and insecticides," Kandole said. "This was very successful because it enabled IDPs to make money, which helped them meet their health needs, buy clothes and generally improve their living conditions." In 2003, FAO is running an ECHO and Belgian government financed programme for some 3,800 families all over eastern Congo, not just Ituri. This programme consists of aid for nutritional centres with agricultural implements and crops destined for families of children who are at these centres.

Water and sanitation
Water and sanitation remain one of Ituri's greatest needs and the British charity, Oxfam, is the only NGO involved in this line of work in Ituri. Its first objective is to work with IDPs and returnees. Six months ago Hema prevented Oxfam from helping the Lendu but since 6 March Oxfam has found it easier to enter all areas of Ituri. But needs remain significant, Oxfam's Flory Balaga told IRIN in Bunia. He said that 200,000 people needed aid in the town. Bunia is served by two water utilities - the state-run firm, Regideso, and Ngongo, a Roman Catholic Church company. Presently they provide services to only some parts of Bunia. Other parts of the town have no water.But the availability of water does not necessarily mean good health. Consumers have been failing to pay their bills to Regideso that draws its water from a river. The company is bankrupt and consequently unable to purify its water. Treatment stopped when the ICRC halted delivery of purification chemicals after six of its volunteers were killed in April 2001. Consequently in September 2002, when there was cholera epidemic and only Oxfam provided urgent water treatment products. Ngongo uses spring water and supplies entire families in north, central and west Bunia. Oxfam has helped to protect sources against animal faecal contamination. And with the help of ECHO, Oxfam is now trying to protect the open wells that town residents have sunk and is providing water purification chemicals."We are doing this because in September, when cholera hit, the Lendu cut water supplies in the north and east of the town leaving nothing for the town centre. So the wells will help to ensure that in a similar situation the centre can be served - especially medical centres," Balaga said. In the rest of Ituri, villages have not received emergency aid, he said, "and this is the greatest need". The increasing number of people returning home heightens the urgency. All major urban centres such as Djugu, Fataki, Rethy, Nioka and Mongbwalu lack water systems. Irumu, west of Bunia, has no treated water. There is also a big problem of scurvy for IDPs who ran into the bush to avoid war. They need shelter and soap. Oxfam says it needs money to help 100,000 of these people. "It would be suicidal if Oxfam left Ituri," Balaga said. German Agro Action is also calling for multisector humanitarian intervention on emergency lines. The NGO operates in Irumu, Djugu and Mahagi territories and will be engaged in sectors of food, agriculture (funded by ECHO), provision of non-food items (USAID funded) and agricultural feeder roads, food security and road rehabilitations (USAID funded). Health SituationIturi lacks all functional health and medical facilities and has only seven practising doctors in the area, a doctor with the humanitarian NGO Medair told IRIN. Again, health workers say their greatest need is security so they can access certain localities and help with the rehabilitation of medical facilities. Mongbwalu, for example, is insecure because of mines, John Kanyamanda, a doctor with MEDAIR, told IRIN. In addition, he said some ethnic groups often prevented medical teams from reaching other more needy groups. To overcome the problem, he said, a balance has to be struck and each group informed of the help given to the other. "This tactic works where there is no fighting," he said.However, he said, there had been improvements even in the area of Gety. Where a year ago Medair could not serve this community because of Lendu complaints, there was now access. However, Kanyamanda said, to reach the northern town of Fataki Medair has to negotiate passage through district medical officers because Lendu and Hema control different stretches of road. Medair has still not reached the western district town of Mambasa from Bunia because of perceived insecurity. Not too long ago along the Bunia-Mambasa road, Ngiti people seized a vehicle belonging to the Italian relief agency, Coopi, so Medair is serving Mambasa from its North Kivu base of Beni. Since 6 March, Kanyamanda said, the situation had improved with people moving freely. However, pockets of danger remained such as the Ngiti towns of Gety and Songola, and the Lolwa-Mambasa road. Medair says that urgent medical requirements are surgical materials, maternity beds, other beds and mattresses, bed sheets, orthopedic equipment and the need to retain health professionals. The big problem after putting things in place will be how to get and maintain medical supplies without interruption, Kanyamanda said. "Donors have to evaluate whether or not if they commit materials they won't be looted as happed at the Nyakunde Hospital," he said. The referral hospital was the largest and best equipped in all of Ituri and served the neighbouring district of Isiro. Rebels stripped the hospital bare, leaving only the shell intact.Kanyamanda said if Ituri's medical facilities were to provide a minimum service at pre-war levels, it would need at least 15 doctors who are paid regular salaries. Those who have stayed throughout the war, and out of dedication to their jobs, get monthly stipends of between US $70 and $100 from Mediar.These doctors have to cope with malaria, respiratory infections, cholera epidemics, measles and AIDS. If peace returns fully, they'll be faced with caseloads of thousands of people who had fled to the forest in search of safety. Most are naked in the areas between Lolwa and Kamanda and Mambassa. Many have emerged from the bush with scurvy, respiratory infections, and pregnant women suffer from anemia and malnutrition. "The medical situation in Ituri is catastrophic because there are places we've not visited for one year. This is manifested by epidemics of cholera and measles," Kanyamanda said.

Child Soldiers
Children have suffered grossly in the four-year war in Ituri and have been prime candidates for recruitment into the various armies. Kassi Conda Ntare of Save the Children UK in Bunia said cultural and other factors had contributed to their recruitment. Some children had joined fighting forces out of the need to protect their parents. In other cases parents have compelled their child to join the militias because they have been unable to give cows, money or other material goods.Traditional practices also contributed to the recruitment of child soldiers, Ntare said. In traditional societies children are initiated to be men from puberty but child solders were few and used only in defensive and not offensive actions. "In the African context, to have a weapon is a sign of virility," Ntabe said.By February, the UPC had 6,000 children aged between eight and 17 years in its ranks. Lenti Ngiti leaders told SAVE they had about 5,000 child soldiers in their ranks. The Hema have confined theirs to camps in Rwampara, Sota, Katoto Kunda and Tchari. SAVE UK is sensitizing communities to disallow recruitment of the children and informing them of various conventions that prohibit the practice. They are also made to understand that any officer recruiting child soldiers is liable to prosecution. The aim is get the political and military groups to declare demobilization. After that, children would go to transit orientation centres to prepare them for civilian life, an exercise Ntabe estimates will cost some US $400 per child and take six months to complete.Ntabe said many of the children needed trauma treatment. They had raped and beaten adults, and brutalised other children. He said two of every five children had killed with knives."This horror has affected these children," he said.Generally, he said, the child soldiers are not maltreated by their own kind, unless they commit serious military mistakes like accidental firearm discharges.Girls represented 10 percent of the child soldiers, he said, and usually served as the concubines of "officers" but never of soldiers of the same age. All child soldiers are also used as bodyguards, spies, cooks, guards and munitions porters.

L'article: "Les mouvements de troupes rebelles dans l'est inquiètent la Mission de l'ONU''

La Mission des Nations Unies en République démocratique du Congo (RDC), la MONUC, a exprimé mercredi ses vives préoccupations à la suite d'un mouvement de troupes rebelles du Rassemblement congolais pour la démocratie (RCD-Goma), effectué en violation de l'accord de paix du 2 avril, signe à Sun City (Afrique du Sud) par toutes les parties en vue de mettre un terme à la guerre en RDC. "Nous sommes grandement préoccupés par le mouvement de troupes du RCD-Goma, qui a maintenant mis en place six brigades entre Bukavu et Uvira", a confié à IRIN la directrice de l'information de la MONUC, Patricia Tome. "Selon les officiers militaires de la MONUC, cela représente quelque 10 000 hommes", dit-elle. Mme Tome a expliqué que la 12e brigade du RCD-Goma se trouvait dans toute la région de Bunyatenge, jusqu'à Mwenga, en violation de l'accord de Sun City et d'un précédent accord selon lequel cette zone devait demeurer sous le contrôle d'un autre mouvement rebelle, le Rassemblement congolais pour la démocratie - Kisangani - Mouvement de libération (RCD-K-ML). Mme Tome a indiqué que des combats opposant les forces du RCD-Goma et du RCD-K-ML faisaient rage à Mbingi. Par ailleurs, Mme Tome a annoncé qu'une équipe de la MONUC avait visité mardi la localité de Burale, à 70 km au sud-ouest de Bukavu, pour y enquêter sur des affrontements survenus le 6 avril entre les forces du RCD-Goma et des combattants appartenant à la milice Mundundu 40 (M40). "La plupart des habitations ont été pillées et incendiées, dont le centre de santé et les écoles. La Croix Rouge congolaise a confirmé la mort de 16 personnes à la suite des combats entre le RCD-Goma et le groupe Mundundu 40 (M40), qui aurait perdu trois hommes", a rapporteé Mme Tome. Elle a ajouté que Burale était occupée par le 101e bataillon du RCD-Goma et que la population avait fui cette localité pour se réfugier dans des zones contrôlée par le M40. La mission d'enquête a aussi fait état de violences sexuelles perpètrées contre des jeunes filles, d'ajouter Mme Tome. Le M40 était jadis étroitement lié au RCD-Goma, mais ses membres ont apparemment été irrités par l'arrestation de leur chef par le RCD-Goma.

The Article: "Uganda willing to train Congolese forces''

Ugandan Foreign Affairs Minister James Wapakhabulo said on Tuesday that his country was willing to train the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) forces scheduled to take charge of border security, The New Vision, a government-owned Ugandan newspaper, reported. "In view of the fact that the DRC force to be deployed on the slopes of Mt Ruwenzori has to be put together after the resumption of diplomatic relations between Uganda and the DRC, Uganda is willing to offer training assistance to that force through the provision of instructors," the daily quoted Wapakhabulo as saying. He was speaking during a ministerial meeting in Bunia, the principal town of Ituri District, Orientale Province, eastern DRC. The UN Mission in the DRC, MONUC, reported on Wednesday that the DRC government had asked Uganda to provide a detailed timetable for the withdrawal of its troops in the country. MONUC issued the statement in Bunia, following the meeting attended by Wapakhabulo and officials from the DRC and Angolan governments. The New Vision reported that the Uganda People's Defence Forces (UPDF) spokesman, Maj Shaban Bantariza, said on Wednesday that the UPDF would train DRC's Alpine Brigade to handle the border security. The daily reported that Uganda and DRC agreed on Tuesday that at least one UPDF brigade could be deployed on the western slopes of Mt Ruwenzori, inside the DRC. In a joint communiqui issued after the talks in Bunia, MONUC said "the Congolese and the Uganda delegations reiterate the need and urgency for the implementation of the security mechanism regarding the western slopes of the Ruwenzori Mountains." The modalities of the deployment of the Congolese brigade would be finalised when officials from the defence and foreign affairs ministries of the DRC and Uganda meet in Kinshasa on 24 April, the daily reported.The UPDF has stated that it will begin to withdraw all its troops from Ituri on 24 April.

04 / 16 / 2003 


"Le gouvernement réclame un échéancier pour le retrait des troupes ougandaises de RDC''

Le gouvernement de la république démocratique du Congo (RDC) a demandé jeudi à l'Ouganda de fournir un calendrier détaillé du retrait de ses troupes stationnés dans le pays, a rapporté la Mission de l'ONU en RDC, la MONUC. La MONUC a rendu publique cette déclaration à Bunia, principale ville du district de l'Ituri (nord-est de la RDC) à la suite d'une rencontre entre certains de ses représentants et ceux des gouvernements de la RDC, de l'Ouganda et de l'Angola. "L'Ouganda a réaffirmé sa volonté de concrétiser le retrait de toutes les troupes de l'UPDF [Forces de défense populaire de l'Ouganda] d'ici le 24 avril 2003", a annoncé la MONUC. "La délégation ougandaise a toutefois dit souhaiter le déploiement d'une force internationale dans l'Ituri, pour remplacer l'UPDF, afin d'éviter le vide et le chaos [lors du départ de ses troupes]", d'ajouter la Mission. La Commission de pacification de l'Ituri, mise en place pour voir comment mettre fin à l'insécurité dans l'Ituri, a approuvé dimanche la formation d'une assemblée spéciale intérimaire pour administrer cette zone, ainsi que d'autres mesures pour que cesse la violence. La Commission a précisé que les troupes ougandaises avaient convenu d'amorcer leur retrait le 24 avril. La MONUC a mentionné que la RDC avait aussi insisté pour que soit déployée une force internationale dans l'Ituri, ainsi qu'une force de police nationale congolaise. La MONUC a pour sa part indiqué que l'on procédait actuellement à une évaluation du contexte sécuritaire dans l'Ituri, étude dont les recommandations seront pressentées au Secrétariat de l'ONU. "En outre, la MONUC assurera à Bunia et dans la région les conditions logistiques nécessaires au déploiement éventuel d'une force internationale", d'ajouter la MONUC.

04 / 15 / 2003 


The Article:
"National follow-up committee convenes''

Congolese President Joseph Kabila convened on Monday the first meeting of the national follow-up committee which is charged with solving the remaining obstacles to the formation of a transitional power-sharing government in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). But one of the principal rebel groups, the Rassemblement congolais pour la democratie (RCD-GOMA), stayed away because of safety concerns. An RCD-Goma spokesman, Joseph Mudumbi, told IRIN that the group was still awaiting a response from Kabila to a letter asking for the security of its delegates to be assured. "We have to bring our security units to Kinshasa, with at least 15 body guards for each delegate," he said. Joseph Olenghankoy, a member of the unarmed political opposition who took part in the meeting, said that the RCD-Goma rebels had used the security issue as a pretext to stay away from the session. The national follow-up committee was convened as a result of the 2 April peace accord signed by all parties to the conflict in the DRC in Sun City, South Africa. Kabila has already been inaugurated as interim president, and there are to be four vice-presidents representing the present government, the two largest rebel groups (including RCD-Goma) and the unarmed political opposition. Security for rebel leaders in Kinshasa has been a sticking point, but Monday's meeting was attended by representatives of all other armed groups who signed the Sun City accord, including the rebel Movement pour la liberation du Congo (MLC), the rebel Rassemblement congolais pour la democratie-Kisangani-movement de liberation (RCD-K-ML) and the pro-government Mayi Mayi militia. Those who attended described the atmosphere of the meeting as "very good". "The meeting proceeded in a brotherly fashion so I believe things will get better," Kolosso Sumahili, the RCD-K-ML secretary-general, said. News agencies reported that delegates gave no information about the nature of their discussions, and no date was announced for a second session.

04 / 14 / 2003 


"La commission de l'Ituri adopte des mesures conservatoires pour mettre fin aux hostilités''

Les 177 délégués de la Commission de pacification de l'Ituri (CPI) ont adopté dimanche une série de mesures conservatoires visant à mettre un terme aux hostilités et à mettre en place une administration provisoire dans le district de l'Ituri, à l'est de la République démocratique du Congo (RDC), a rapporté la Mission de l'ONU en RDC (MONUC). La MONUC a fait savoir par un communiqué que sous réserve de la mise en place d'un gouvernement transitoire en Ituri, les délégués donnaient leur accord pour la création d'une Assemblée provisoire composée de 32 membres. En outre, il y aura un organe exécutif, avec un commissaire et quatre assistants chargés de l'administration, l'infrastructure, des finances et de l'économie. La CPI, qui s'est réunie à Bunia, principale ville du district, a accepté que les organes provisoires soient places sous la présidence du représentant spécial du Secrétaire général de l'ONU en RDC, Behrooz Sadry. Les délégués ont convenu de la création d'une Commission de prévention et de vérification composée de 18 membres qui examinera les causes du conflit et introduira des mesures pour empêcher toute aggravation de la situation. Cette Commission analysera les allégations de violations, désignera des groupes de responsables chargés d'effectuer des recherches et de soumettre leurs résultats et recommandations à l'assemblée. Un comité consultatif de groupes armés impliqués dans le conflit, composé de neuf membres, évaluera la situation sécuritaire en Ituri et garantira la maîtrise des forces armées, facilitera la démobilisation des enfants soldats et garantira le respect des droits de l'homme par tous les groupes armés. Le comité répondra à la Commission de prévention et de vérification. Les délégués ont convenu que les deux organes seront présidés par la MONUC. Une instance provisoire des droits de l'homme composée de 17 membres aidera les victimes de violations des droits de l'homme à obtenir un soutien, notamment sur le plan juridique. Elle assurera le suivi de toute affaire judiciaire et garantira un proches équitable à toute personne inculpée. Cet organe sera également chargé d'informer la population de toute question relative aux droits de l'homme. La Commission de l'Ituri a également formulé un appel officiel pour la protection des enfants. Grâce à cet appel, les délégués espèrent favoriser la mise en place de conditions garantissant le respect des droits de l'enfant et aboutir à la démobilisation et à la réintégration des enfants soldats dans leur communauté, selon la MONUC. Les hostilités en Ituri, principalement entre communautés Lendu et Hema, remontent à des années. Avec la guerre en RDC, elles se sont fortement intensifiées ces quatre dernières années, provoquant la mort de milliers de personnes. La MONUC vient d'ouvrir une enquête sur un massacre de Hema qui auraient itiplus par des assaillants Lendu dans la ville de Drodro le 3 avril. La Commission de pacification de l'Ituri a ouvert ses travaux, deux jours après que toutes les parties à la guerre en RDC ont signe un accord de paix à Sun City en Afrique du Sud. Les troupes ougandaises qui contrôlent encore Bunia ont promis de commencer à retirer leurs troupes des le 24 avril, sous réserve que la MONUC prenne le relais pour garantir la sécurité de cette région du pays après leur départ.


The Article: "Sues for withdrawal of Ugandan army''

Foreign ministers from Uganda and Angola plan to meet Tuesday with their counterpart from Kinshasa in eastern DR Congo to decide on a date for the total withdrawal of Ugandan troops from DR Congo. Ugandan foreign minister James Wapakhabulo said they would arrive Monday in the volatile eastern DRC province of Ituri incollaboration with a delegation of UN agencies on peace and security to review the fluid security situation in the province. "We shall look at the Luanda agreement and agree on the dates for the withdrawal of our forces and consider the security situation after the pullout is done," Wapakhabulo told PANA Monday. Representatives from both the UN Security Council and UN special envoy to DRC, Amos Namanga Ngongi, would attend the crucial meeting in Bunia, Ituri's provincial main town, he said. Last week, Kampala expressed willingness to withdraw its forces from eastern DRC by 24 April, two days after the implementationof the Ituri Pacification Commission (IPC) goes into force. Kampala says that its security concerns in the region will be theresponsibility of the IPC and UN peacekeeping mission in DR Congo(MONUC). "Upon our pullout [in Ituri], whoever will be left in charge will be held accountable for any security threats emerging from there against Uganda," army spokesperson Maj. Shaban Bantarizawarned, adding "We will not wait for things to worsen. We will return there to guarantee our safety."

04 / 11 / 2003 


The Article:
"International Committee meets to follow up on Sun City accord''

The international committee to accompany the transition in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) held its first meeting on Thursday at the headquarters of MONUC, the UN mission in the DRC, a MONUC statement said.The committee is composed of representatives of MONUC, the five permanent members of the UN Security Council (namely China, France, Great Britain, Russia and the United States), Canada, South Africa, Angola, Mozambique, Zambia and the European Commission. Under the chairmanship of Amos Namanga Ngongi, the UN secretary-general's special envoy to the DRC, the international committee discussed how it would function, and its relations with the national follow-up committee to the DRC peace accord, signed on 2 April in Sun City, South Africa.Ngongi said: "We are here to accompany the transition process and to help the [national] follow-up committee to do its work after the installation of a transitional government; and to work towards trying to resolve the small problems that will arise."The international committee decided to hold weekly meetings.The first meeting of the national follow-up committee to oversee implementation of the Sun City accord is due to be convened next week by DRC President Joseph Kabila.

The Article: "MONUC repatriates 17 Rwandan ex-fighters from Zambia''

The UN mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), known as MONUC, on Thursday repatriated 17 Rwandan former fighters who had taken refuge in Zambia, MONUC said in a statement.The 17 were among a group of around 100 Rwandan ex-combatants in Ukwimi refugee camp in southeastern Zambia, close to the borders with Mozambique and Malawi. Among the 17 were some who had fled Kamina military base (Katanga province, DRC) in November 2002, after fighting between the Forces democratiques de liberation du Rwanda (FDLR) and DRC government troops, MONUC said. MONUC said the 17 men would spend 45 days at Mutobo demobilisation centre in northern Rwanda, before being reintegrated into civilian life. A MONUC team visited Zambia in April 2002 to explain to ex-combatants the disarmament, demobilisation and repatriation programme targeting members of foreign armed groups operating in the DRC. The return of the 17 men was the first such operation from Zambia, where around 150 ex-combatants have been identified among some 4,000 Rwandan refugees registered by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.MONUC has estimated that 13,000 Rwandan ex-combatants are operating in the DRC. They are mainly the remnants of the Interahamwe militia and the Forces armees Rwandaises (FAR), who took part in the 1994 Rwandan genocide. MONUC has blamed continuing fighting in eastern DRC for hampering its demobilisation programme. Only 1,300 former fighters have been repatriated to Rwanda in the last six months.

Other data on Congo - Kinshasa / Autres données sur le Congo - Kinshasa