Africa Today blog

The flagship African show in Press TV

DR Congo crisis: when does this end after thousands flee their homes?

Posted by AT on August 26, 2010

Africa Today 67
Topic: DR Congo crisis: when does this end after thousands flee their homes?

Broadcast Date: 27th July 2010
Presenter: Henry Bonsu
Studio Guests:
1- Dennis Katungi, Spokesperson, NRMUK
2- Okito Tongomo Chair, Congolese Support Group

Description: Tens of thousands of people in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have fled their homes amid an army offensive against Ugandan rebels, presenting fresh impetus to humanitarian agencies’ efforts to adapt their response mechanisms to sudden displacement.

Part 1

Brief: A large wave of displacement was prompted by a 28 June attack – allegedly a rebel reprisal against the offensive – on the village of Mutwanga, which left eight civilians dead. Further attacks took place from the second week of July, with the ADF/NALU, estimated to number around 1,300 fighters, again being blamed by witnesses. As displacement patterns evolve, creating an increasingly intricate web of flight and return routes on eastern DRC’s map, so RRMP agencies have adapted their responses. From 2010, assistance is no longer distributed according to whether beneficiaries are fleeing, returning or hosting IDPs in their own homes. “We had more and more zones where displaced and returned people lived side by side. In some villages, we had one partner [agency] assisting the displaced and another one assisting returnees,” Sizaret said. Now the needs of entire populations in displacement areas are assessed with questionnaires and scorecards – in Beni evaluations began on 2 July – in an effort to deliver blanket assistance as rapidly and efficiently as possible.

Part 2

There are still unresolved questions surrounding the ongoing fight against rebel groups by governments in the great lake regions of Africa. The recent offensive against Ugandan rebels by the Democratic republic of Congo government has “raised fresh concern about this seemingly perpetual crisis. The fighting against rebels of one nationality or another has lasted a quarter of a century. The latest military operation is against the Allied Democratic Forces and the National Army for the Liberation of Uganda (ADF/NALU) in the North Kivu district of Beni. As a result of this incursion tens of thousands have been reported fleeing the eastern part of DRC triggering another humanitarian crisis. With the sudden displacement of people, Africa Today asks how peace can finally be brought to this most troubled part of Africa.

Part 3

WHO THEY ARE: The main rebel groups in the great lakes region operate in and around Eastern DRC, Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda. In Easter DRC , the main rebel movement RCD is fighting to overthrow President Laurent Desire Kabila. This movement is split into two with allegations that they are being backed by Uganda and Rwanda. In Rwanda are the FAR, former Hutu militias and ex Rwandan armed forces responsible for the 1994 genocide. Burundi’s main rebel groups FDD and CNDD- with FDD seen more as a pro Kabila helping Congo’s forces fight the RCD while in Uganda is the ADF and LRA who are more concerned with destabilising Uganda. While these groups have direct links with these countries they also operate from areas in Tanzania, Sudan and Central African Republic.

The main rebel groups in the great lakes region are:

* Rassemblement congolais pour la democratie (RCD)- Easter DRC
* Forces armees rwandaises (FAR)- Rwanda
* Conseil national pour la defense de la democratie /Forces pour la defense de la democratie (FDD/CNDD)- Burundi
* Allied Democratic Forces/ Lord’s Resistance Army (ADF/ LRA)- Uganda

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One Response to “DR Congo crisis: when does this end after thousands flee their homes?”

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