News / Africa

Thousands of Congolese Enter Rwanda to Flee Fighting

A Congolese woman refugee sits with others at the Nkamira transit center for refugees in western Rwanda Saturday, May 5, 2012. A Congolese woman refugee sits with others at the Nkamira transit center for refugees in western Rwanda Saturday, May 5, 2012.
x
A Congolese woman refugee sits with others at the Nkamira transit center for refugees in western Rwanda Saturday, May 5, 2012.
A Congolese woman refugee sits with others at the Nkamira transit center for refugees in western Rwanda Saturday, May 5, 2012.
TEXT SIZE - +
More than 6,000 Congolese refugees have crossed into Rwanda in the last 10 days, fleeing fighting between the army and mutineers.

Mukakarimba, a wife and mother of two, walked for more than three days through the volatile North Kivu region of the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo before she finally reached the Rwandan border.  She cries as she explains her ordeal.

She says war has broken out in Congo and the fighting forced her and her family to flee into the forest.  She says that, in the chaos, she lost her husband and her daughter. She does not know what became of them.  

The recent influx of refuges into Rwanda from neighboring Congo, began 10 days ago following clashes between the Congolese army and former soldiers loyal to Bosco Ntaganda, a militia leader wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes.

The flow of refugees crossing Rwanda’s La Corniche border post in Gisenyi has since continued, with a slow but steady trickle of new arrivals crossing into the country at all hours.

Some refugees are working with officials to build additional shelters at Rwanda’s Nkamira Transit Center, 22 kilometers from the border with the DRC.  The center is operating at more than double its current capacity.  Anouck Bronee is the external relations officer for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Rwanda.

“The capacity of Nkamira Transit center is 5,000, when all the shelters are fully operational," said Bronee. "Currently we are working on rehabilitating 19 shelters and building another 13 to boost the capacity of the center.  In partnership with the Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs and other UN partners such as UNICEF, World Food Program, WHO, UNFPA, UNDP, we’re working together to try and increase the capacity of the center.”

Although much of the focus on the current crisis has been directed towards the hunt for Bosco Ntaganda, Rwanda Foreign Affairs Minister Louise Mushikiwabo says attention should be directed towards the larger issues facing the region.

“One individual is not worth the lives of so many Congolese," said Mushikiwabo. "That’s really a very important point.  So as much as it’s sexy and there’s a campaign and all of that, let’s think about the ordinary Congolese citizens. They deserve peace and they deserve to be cared for like anybody else.”  

The conflict began last week, after hundreds of Ntaganda loyalists deserted the army.  The loyalists defected because President Joseph Kabila said Ntaganda should be arrested, though the president specified the warlord should be tried in Congo, not handed over to the ICC.

You May Like

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Turkish Law Gives Spy Agency Controversial Powers

Parliament approves legislation to bolster powers of intelligence service, which government claims is necessary to modernize and deal with new threats Turkey faces More

Video Face of American Farmer Changing

Average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Face of American Farmer is Changingi
X
Mike Osborne
April 18, 2014
The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid