April 2011

  • January-April 2011: The UNFPA Sud Kivu office released a report on the data it has collected for the first trimester of 2011. The highest incidence of sexual violence in South Kivu for this period occurred in Mwenga Territory, with 185 reported cases of rape; the second highest rate of sexual violence was recorded for Fizi, with 118 rape cases. [Advocacy Net 22 Aug 2011]

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Februrary 2011

  • 19 Jan – 4 Feb: MSF treated over 70 victims of rape in two similar incidents that occurred in an area ~40 km from Fizi where Rwandan FDLR rebels are still active [BBC news 21 Feb 2011]
  • Violence in the Fizi area escalated: more than 200 women, men and children have been treated for rape by MSF since January 2011 [allafrica.com 28 Feb 2011]

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January 2011

  • 01 January, mass rape of over 60 women in Fizi Centre was committed by FARDC troops under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Kibibi Mutware. Kibibi was sentenced to 20 years in jail by a military court in Baraka [BBC news 21 Feb 2011]. Military judges also sentenced three officers serving under Kibibi to 20 years and five soldiers to 10 – 15 years.
  • 19 – 23 Jan: the UN reported 53 new rape cases along the market road to Milimba and Kitumba [AFP 2 Feb 2011]
  • 19 Jan – 4 Feb: MSF treated over 70 victims of rape in two similar incidents that occurred in an area ~40 km from Fizi where Rwandan FDLR rebels are still active [BBC news 21 Feb 2011]

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March 2012

On 6 Mar, MSF reported that some 8,000 residents of Shamwana, Katanga province have evacuated following heavy fighting between government forces and Mai Mai rebel militias.

Katanga’s capital, Lubumbashi, is rich in natural resources such as cobalt, uranium and diamonds, and foreign mining firms are active in the area.

sources: IOL news and MG

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Tim Butcher’s book: Blood River

I enjoyed Tim Butcher’s book “Blood River” immensely. The narration is well done and it paints a picture of Congo that is lively and accurate. Butcher endeavours on a monumental challenge, which is to traverse the entire length of the Congo River from its origin in eastern DR Congo to its end point where it empties into the Atlantic ocean. All 4,700 km of it!

We hear a lot about corruption and failed African states. I am not going to deny the existence of corruption in the Congo, but will point out that this is not a major theme in Butcher’s bike. He hires riders to take him on motorcycle from from “A to B”, pays them a fair wage, and the deal is done. They encounter armed Mai-Mai deep in the forest, he “bribes” them by handing them a United Nations leaflet.

Butcher travels on roads / paths that no white person has been on since the time of the Belgians. The adventure is both engrossing and unbelievable. The prospect of eco-tourism along the Congo River is very exciting. Nothing like a few tourists taking pictures of lilly pads and monkeys to make the conflict-mineral occupation just dissolve away.

If you end up reading the book, please do share your comments.I’d like to thank my Swedish friend Ellinor for recommending the book and Peter for the surprise purchase.

-BM

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Violence in DRC – 2010 summary from Human Rights Watch

It’s more war, rape, and violence. Human Rights Watch has released its World Report 2011, including a summary for DRC. The east continues to suffer at the hands of warring factions that have been wreaking havoc for years already: the FDLR, CNDP, LRA, and Mai Mai.

Some positive developments for 2010 include the arrest of General Jerome Kakwavu in April on war crimes charges for rape and torture–the first general in Congo’s history to be arrested for rape. The Congolese government also increased military prosecutions against junior-ranked soldiers accused of human rights violations, including crimes of sexual violence.

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Slaughterhouse 500,000 in eastern DRC

Slaughterhouse 500,000 in eastern DRC.

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