AFRICA/DR CONGO - More than 914,000 internally displaced people, 600 schools in North Kivu destroyed, while tension continues

Monday, 17 December 2012

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - More than 600 schools have been destroyed in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, due to the instability for the presence of various armed movements that in addition to fighting each other, terrorize and harass civilians.
The complaint is by the Congolese office of UNICEF that notes that in the period from September to the present, 250 schools have been destroyed or occupied by armed militiamen in North and South Kivu. In several cases, school furniture and books were used as firewood.
240,000 students cannot continue their studies, while the internally displaced people in North Kivu are 914,000. Children who have lost their parents during the dramatic phases of the flight from the villages are 715, according to the data available by UNICEF.
The situation remains tense in Goma, capital of North Kivu, where despite the evacuation from the city of the M23 rebels, the local governor denounced that the guerrillas want to keep the population in "a state of psychosis" in order to put pressure on the Congolese government engaged in negotiations in Kampala. In the Ugandan capital negotiations are in fact in progress under the protection of the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), in order to find a peaceful solution to the crisis in North Kivu. Several Congolese observers, however, say that Rwanda and Uganda (which acts as a mediator) are not sincere in wanting peace, remembering the various UN reports denouncing the support of the M23 by Rwanda and Uganda.
Congolese President Joseph Kabila launched an appeal on December 15 to defend the national unity in the face of the M23 rebellion and "aggression of Rwanda." Speaking in front of deputies and senators who met in a joint session the Congolese President reported: "Once more, an unjust war has been imposed on us. Everything has been said about this war of aggression on behalf of Rwanda." (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 17/12/2012)