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.
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

US Border Patrol Union Accused of Taking Sides on Immigration

Report alleges agents leaking info to immigration opponents, appearing at their private events; Center for Immigration Studies director defends agents' actions More

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Reporting from Somali capital for past decade, Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal has been working at one of Mogadishu's leading radio stations covering parliament More

Video Rights Monitor: Hate Groups' Use of Internet to Inflame, Recruit Growing

Wiesenthal Center's Abraham Cooper says extremists have become skilled at celebrating violence, ideology on Web More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Interneti
X
Mike O'Sullivan
June 30, 2015 8:20 PM
Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.

VOA Blogs