AFRICA/CONGO DR - Tension in North Kivu increases

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - Tension in North Kivu (eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC) increases due to the transfer, operated without any coordination with the local authorities, of refugees from Tanzania. According to a note sent to Fides Agency by the Provincial Coordination of Civil Society in North Kivu, about "a thousand Rwandan families" entered the territory of Rutshuru under escort of the Rwandan military and their allies of the M23, the rebel movement that operates in the Congolese province that has destabilized the area for years.
The note also denounces that since October 3 young refugee families have been subjected to compulsory military training in Chanzu and that the M23 has initiated a census of houses and fields abandoned by the local populations forced to flee because of the war. It is feared that these properties are transferred to newcomers without any form of compensation in relation to the legitimate owners.
The Coordinating Committee also stressed that "the M23 is trying to deceive the public into believing that these people are Congolese refugees who are returning from Rwanda, while the UN High Commissioner for Refugees has not repatriated any Congolese from Rwanda to the DRC".
Meanwhile, the newspaper "Le Potentiel" says that negotiations in Kampala (Uganda) between Kinshasa and Kigali have in fact failed, and the two countries are likely to start military confrontation. In the Ugandan capital one hoped for a solution to the dispute that has divided the RDC for years with the two eastern neighbors, Uganda and Rwanda, accused by Kinshasa of fueling instability in the neighboring Congolese provinces, by supporting the various guerrilla groups operating there. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 09/10/2013)