World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Congo Fighting Threatens 15,000 Displaced Civilian

By Selah Hennessy
Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo

Congo Fighting Threatens 15,000 Displaced Civilians

Government forces in the Democratic Republic of Congo are making military gains against rebel fighters in the east. But military victories are pushing combat north, towards displacement camps that hold thousands of civilians. The U.N. is calling it an emergency situation, but no plan has yet been announced to protect the displaced people.

General Babacar Gaye is the force commander of the U.N. peacekeeping mission in the DRC.

He says government troops are pushing the rebels north, towards a town called Kirolirwe.

"There is a need for the Congolese authorities to warn the population that they need to leave this area as soon as possible because unfortunately there will be operation I'm afraid in Kirolirwe," said Gaye.

He says the military is still working with humanitarian organizations, and the population itself, to decide where the civilians should go.

"It is not decided yet where they are going to move but the best solution would be for them to have a safe haven for them somewhere-maybe towards east or towards west or towards south, rather than towards north," said Gaye.

Around 40,000 civilians live in Kirolirwe, including around 15,000 internally displaced people.

U.N. spokesman Michel Bonnardeaux says the majority of the displaced are ethnic Tutsis.

Rebel leader Nkunda says he is fighting to protect ethnic Tutsis from ethnic Hutu former rebels, who he says are supported by the Congolese government.

Bonnardeaux says displaced Tutsis are inclined to support Nkunda rather than the national army. He adds there have been reports of Nkunda's forces recruiting in displacement camps.

There have also been reports of the rebel leader using the population as a human shield.

Meanwhile, food delivery to displacement camps is suspended, after the UN World Food Program this week blocked aid delivery due to insecurity in the region.

Aya Shneerson, director of the World Food Program in the provinces of North and South Kivu, says she hopes some deliveries will begin again soon. But, she says, with displaced people again forced to flee their camps, delivering aid will be even harder.


More: Latest World News | Top World News | World Digest | Archives

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Swing States: Gordon Campbell On Why The US Needs MMP

After the bizarre events this week in Helsinki, the world will be hoping and praying that the US midterm elections in November can put a restraining brake on the presidency of Donald Trump. This may happen, but there’s a highly undemocratic reason why such hopes may be frustrated. More>>


putin, trump scalpGordon Campbell: On The White House Romance With Russia

Tough on Europe over trade, at the G-7. Tough on Europe over defence, at NATO. And utterly smitten as usual by Vladimir Putin at the Helsinki summit. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On This Week’s NATO Debacle

For someone routinely cast as a clown presiding over an administration in chaos, Donald Trump has been very consistent about his agenda, and remarkably successful in achieving it, in the short term at least. More>>


NZ Law Society: Rule Of Law Threatened In Nauru

“The recently enacted Administration of Justice Act 2018 is another clear sign of the deterioration of civil rights in Nauru,” the Law Society’s Rule of Law Committee convenor Austin Forbes QC says. More>>


'Fixing' Family Separation: Executive Order Imprisons Families Indefinitely

Amnesty: President Trump signed an executive order today mandating for children to stay with their parents in detention while their asylum claims are processed. More>>