Congo-Kinshasa: Are the ADF ‘Islamist’ Scapegoats in Congo? – AllAfrica.com

Congo-Kinshasa: Are the ADF 'Islamist' Scapegoats in Congo?
AllAfrica.com
Beni — Attacks on civilians in the Beni region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo have killed more than 500 people in the past 18 months. Congolese officials accuse the Allied Democratic Forces, an Islamist rebel group with links to Uganda, …

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UN helicopters attack ADF rebels in DR Congo – New Vision


New Vision
UN helicopters attack ADF rebels in DR Congo
New Vision
It was the first time that the UN mission had engaged in military cooperation with the Congolese since February, when it was suspended after DRC authorities named two generals accused of gross human rights abuses to oversee joint operations. "MONUSCO

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Billion dollar ivory and gold trade fuelling DR Congo war: UN – Seychelles News Agency


Seychelles News Agency
Billion dollar ivory and gold trade fuelling DR Congo war: UN
Seychelles News Agency
A man weighs gold in a market on February 16, 2009 in Iga Barriere, 25 kms north of Bunia, north eastern Congo. DR Congo is rich in precious minerals such as diamonds and gold – but its people have gained little from this wealth because of conflict and
Billion Dollar Ivory and Gold Trade Fuelling Democratic Republic of Congo War NDTV
Billion Dollar Wildlife and Gold Trade Fuelling DR Congo War – UNCapital FM
Billion dollar wildlife, gold trade fuelling DR Congo war: UNThe Daily Star
BDlive
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How Dodd-Frank Is Failing Congo – Foreign Policy (blog)


Foreign Policy (blog)
How Dodd-Frank Is Failing Congo
Foreign Policy (blog)
Many groups can easily turn from minerals to palm oil, charcoal, timber, or cannabis to make money — not to mention extortion, illegal taxes, and other means. …. Smuggling remains a huge problem — for gold especially, but also for other minerals

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Uganda gives DR Congo M23 rebels deadline to leave – Yahoo News


Yahoo News
Uganda gives DR Congo M23 rebels deadline to leave
Yahoo News
Kampala (AFP) – Uganda has issued a three-month ultimatum to Democratic Republic of Congo to relocate hundreds of ex-rebel fighters or they will be handed to the United Nations, an army spokesman said Thursday. The deadline follows clashes between …
Uganda gives M23 rebels deadline to leaveNew Vision

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Relaunching legal mining in Congo with conflict-free tags?

Under the Conflict Free Tin Initiative (CFTI), over 200 tones of tin ore worth around gold, tin, tungsten and coltan-a metal used to make mobile phones,
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Oxfam delivering water to Belungo camp, Democratic Republic of Congo

To provide water to over 45,000 displaced Congolese in the Bulengo Camp, in DRC, Oxfam set up a water piping system to pump water straight from Lake Kivu, into two 70,000-liter holding tanks and to the taps. We completed the new system in just six weeks.

This new system helps meet the daily water needs of the IDPs and helps preventing water-borne diseases like cholera.

We have been responding to humanitarian needs near Goma, in DRC, since July 2012, providing water and sanitation to displaced people that have fled the fighting, as well as protection services, and delivering food programs in some camps.

More on Oxfam’s humanitarian response in the Democratic Republic of Congo

To provide water to over 45,000 displaced Congolese in the Bulengo Camp, in DRC, Oxfam set up a water piping system to pump water straight from Lake Kivu, into tanks and to the taps. We completed the new system in just six weeks.

YouTube


See video

Oxfam

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African Union must lead to end the crisis in eastern DR Congo

As hundreds of thousands of people still live in fear of attacks, African leaders at the AU Summit must “seize the moment” and make peace a priority.

Oxfam: As hundreds of thousands of people still live in fear of attacks, African leaders at the AU Summit must “seize the moment” and make peace a priority

Leaders arriving at the African Union summit in Addis Ababa must seize the window of opportunity to take giant steps towards peace in eastern DR Congo, international agency Oxfam said today. It called on the AU to urgently step up its response to the enormous human suffering in the region.

Since the M23 armed group withdrew from Goma after capturing the city in November last year, global attention on the conflict has decreased, yet people are still fleeing attacks on their villages and daily looting and extortion by more than 25 armed groups. In North Kivu alone, some 910,000 people are still displaced with few basic services and little protection from violence.

Desire Assogbavi, the head of Oxfam’s office at the AU, said: “Years of international policies in eastern DR Congo have failed to end people’s suffering, and now is the time for the African Union to step up. The next few days offer a crucial opportunity for our continent’s leaders to put an end to this unacceptable crisis. The lives of hundreds of thousands of African citizens are at stake here.”

People living in terror

A recent Oxfam assessment around the town of Masisi in North Kivu found tens of thousands of people living in terror. Water points and infrastructure have been destroyed and cholera and other diseases are spreading fast as aid agencies are unable to properly respond due to ongoing fighting. There are now more than 60 camps in the area as people flee attacks by armed groups and Oxfam is scaling up its work in Rubaya, where around 40,000 people are now sheltering in a camp with no clean water. 150,000 displaced people are still living in camps around the city of Goma, Oxfam said.

Oxfam said the AU must step up its support and push the International Conference for the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) – made up of 12 African nations – to reach a diplomatic solution to the crisis.

An opportunity for peace

Assogbavi added: “Despite the suffering, there is now a real opportunity for peace and stability and the AU must seize this chance. Our leaders must send a message of hope and peace to the hundreds of thousands of displaced people all across eastern Congo. The lessons of the past must be learnt and the AU must make sure that any agreements are more than just words on paper, and tackle the root causes of a conflict that has blighted Africa for the past 20 years.”

Oxfam said that any agreements must include the voices and opinions of the Congolese people, who have most at stake in resolving the crisis, and address underlying issues that fuel the conflict – such as lack of governance, the urgent need to reform the Congolese army which fails to protect its citizens, and the need for constructive regional relations. Potentially positive steps included in the 2006 Pact on Security, Stability and Development have not been implemented and must be reinvigorated, Oxfam said.

DRC is the biggest country in sub-Saharan Africa and the impact of the crisis has consequences for the stability of the rest of the continent, Oxfam said. More than 50,000 Congolese refugees are still sheltering in camps in Uganda and Rwanda and in the past few weeks thousands more have crossed the border.

Years of international policies in eastern DR Congo have failed to end people’s suffering, and now is the time for the African Union to step up.

Desire Assogbavi

Head of Oxfam’s AU Liaison Office

Notes to Editors

Video: Louis Belanger, Oxfam Humanitarian Media Officer, reports from Mugunga camp, Democratic Republic of Congo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4zrb54ypx8

Contact Information

For more information, please contact:

Alun McDonald, Media and Communications Officer, Horn East & Central Africa
Mobile: +254 73666 6663
Office: +254 202820203,
Skype: alunmcdonald
Twitter: @alunmcdonald @OxfamEAfrica

Louis Belanger, Oxfam Humanitarian Media Officer
In DRC: +243 81 445 4334
skype: louisoxfam
Twitter: @louis_press

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Voice of Congo: Testimonies of people who have fled the conflict

Commodities of War: Communities speak out on the true cost of conflict in eastern DRC: Our latest report on civilian protection in the DRC, Nov 2012

“For me, but without me, is against me”: Why efforts to stabilize the Democratic Republic of Congo are not working: Oxfam DRC Lobbying Brief, July 2012 (pdf 957kb)

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Oxfam’s humanitarian response in Mugunga camp, Democratic Republic of Congo

Oxfam’s Louis Belanger reports from Mugunga camp in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, where we are supplying water and sanitation to 50,000 people who have fled the ongoing conflict.

Since 1998, an estimated 5.4 million people have lost their lives in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), The people of eastern DRC have suffered too much for too long, and their desire for security and the chance to get on with their lives is too often ignored. The recent fighting is a humanitarian catastrophe, and must be the final wake up call for the African Union, regional institutions and governments and the international community to move to concerted action.

Related links

Conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Oxfam’s Louis Belanger reports from Mugunga camp in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, where we are supplying water and sanitation to 50,000 people who have recently fled the ongoing conflict.

YouTube


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Oxfam

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Millions left at the mercy of militias and armed forces across eastern Congo

More than one million people are at risk of militia, rebel and army attacks, with little or no protection from the government or UN peacekeepers.

Oxfam warns of risk of war on top of the daily violence and abuse people already face

More than one million people are at risk of militia, rebel and army attacks as fighters begin to position themselves in and around the provincial city of Goma with little or no protection from the government or UN peacekeepers international agency Oxfam warned today.

Displacement camps are becoming increasingly under threat as different rebel groups appear to be moving towards sites around the city. The agency fears civilians could get caught up in attacks targeting displacement camps and more than one million will be trying to find safety in an area overflowing with soldiers and militias.  

If fighting breaks out clashes could take place in a number of areas surrounding the city. Oxfam said the UN peacekeeping mission should urgently patrol high-risk areas, especially at night around camps and villages when civilians are particularly at risk of attack.

Daily violence and abuse

“People are scared and many have gathered their belongings in anticipation of a big explosion of violence,” said Oxfam’s humanitarian coordinator Tariq Riebl. “There is now a real risk of war on top of the daily violence and abuse people already face. It will be catastrophic for Congolese people who are already targets for extortion, rape and torture from more than 25 rebel groups across the east.

“Millions of people are trapped in and around Goma and towns across the east with no way of escaping what could be a ruthless and bloody confrontation.”

Villages, camps attacked

In and around Masisi, 80 kms north-west of Goma, another catastrophe is well underway where approximately 250,000 people have fled for their lives in the past month alone as villages have been burnt and camps attacked.

A remote and volatile area with no tarmac roads and limited phone network, humanitarian agencies are unable to assess the scale of the crisis and provide sufficient vital life-saving aid.

Murder, rape, exploitation

According to local organizations working in the area, at least 17 villages in Masisi territory have been burnt and looted in the past two weeks and more than 20 camps where tens of thousands of displaced people are sheltering are now under the control of armed groups known to murder, rape and exploit civilians.

Multiple armed groups

At least four armed groups control routes in an out of Masisi, making it almost impossible for people to leave the area. Many are believed to have fled into Masisi town or scattered into the bush away from major roads. More than 8000 families are currently sheltering in churches and schools in the town, with little access to safe water, healthcare or medicine.

Masisi is a key strategic area, vital for control over lucrative mineral and trade routes. A recent Oxfam assessment found market towns in the region have been repeatedly attacked by numerous armed groups, including the Congolese army, fighting for control of markets and taxation of traders. Farmers have to pay money or food to local “Mayi Mayi” militia to access their fields, and armed groups have taken food from the fields of local farmers to feed their own fighters and families.

UN must step up

The UN peacekeeping mission, MONUSCO, has bases in the territory but communities say they have not seen any patrols in recent weeks.

“We can’t shout loudly enough,” said Riebl. “This violence has to end. It has caused decades of suffering and grinding poverty. All those at peace talks in Kampala must do all they can to bring an end to this brutal madness. Failed agreements and half-hearted negotiations are simply not enough in the face of a humanitarian tragedy of this scale. The AU and the UN must step up its leadership of negotiations and make sure a timetable for a long-lasting solution is agreed.”

Related links

Photos: IDP camps near Goma, eastern DRC

Read the report: Commodities of War: Communities speak out on the true cost of conflict in eastern DRC

More on Oxfam’s response to the Conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

We can't shout loudly enough. This violence has to end. It has caused decades of suffering and grinding poverty.

Tariq Riebl

Oxfam Humanitarian Coordinator

Notes to Editors

Oxfam has been providing life-saving aid in three camps around Goma since July, piping and trucking clean water to people who had fled the fighting. The agency has built latrines and installed sanitation services, as well as providing cash distributions to help people buy food. Oxfam also works in several areas across North and South Kivu, providing water and sanitation, and helping communities get their rights to adequate protection.

Oxfam map showing rebel groups in eastern DR Congo (as of late November 2012)

Contact Information

For more information or to organize an interview contact Anna Ridout on +44 (0)7766 443506/ aridout@oxfam.org.uk

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