Tuesday, November 12, 2019  | 14 Rabiulawal, 1441 | BETA
Samaa TV
Facebook Twitter Youtube
HOME > Sports

Thousands flee Congo clashes

November 6, 2008
Thousands flee Congo clashes

RUTHURU: Thousands of civilians fled fighting on Wednesday (November 5), the
second day of clashes at Kiwanja near Rutshuru, seized last week by General
Laurent Nkunda's Tutsi rebels, raising fears of more fighting in the region
near Rwanda.
Civilians streamed from Kiwanja to Rutshuru to escape what they said
were attacks by pro-government Mai-Mai militiamen.
Machinegun fire and the thump of artillery could be heard. One elderly
man walking with a cane wore a shirt covered in dried blood from a bullet
wound. He sought help from soldiers nearby.
“It's the MONUC who are treating my wounds,” the old refugee
man said referring to the U.N. mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo,
known by its French acronym MONUC.
“The Mai Mai attacked us, they come even in our houses, we are
being massacred,” said another refugee said.
In Kiwanja, several hundred civilians sheltered at a ruined primary
school close to a camp of Indian United Nations peacekeepers. Smoke rose from
one part of the town.
Last week Nkunda declared a ceasefire, suspending a major offensive by
his Tutsi fighters against Goma which had sent tens of thousands of civilians
fleeing for their lives.
A rebel spokesman earlier on Wednesday accused Congolese government
forces of breaking the ceasefire at Kiwanja.
The enduring conflict in eastern Congo, years after the end of a wider
1998-2003 war, has triggered international efforts to secure a lasting peace
on Congo's Great Lakes border with Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi.
But Nkunda, while describing the fighting as a “bad sign”,
said he was upholding the ceasefire around Goma, the provincial capital, where
foreign aid agencies are struggling to help and care for refugees packed into
camps.
U.N. peacekeepers said they had launched an operation around Kiwanja to
try to halt the fighting and obtain the release of a Belgian journalist,
working for a German newspaper, whom U.N. officials said had been seized by
Mai-Mai militiamen.
The enduring conflict in eastern Congo, years after the end of a wider
1998-2003 war, has triggered international efforts to secure a lasting peace
on Congo's Great Lakes border with Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi.

 
 
HOME  
 
 
RELATED STORIES
 

Tell us what you think:

Your email address will not be published.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
MOST READ