News / Africa

Congo's War-Weary Citizens Hope for Lasting Peace

War-Weary People of Congo Hope for Lasting Peacei
X
September 04, 2013 5:02 PM
African leaders from the Great Lakes region are meeting Thursday to find a solution to fighting in the Democratic Republic of Congo between the armed forces and M23 militants. VOA East Africa Correspondent Gabe Josleow reports from the eastern town of Goma, where residents are hoping for a quick and firm end to the conflict.
Gabe Joselow
— African leaders from the Great Lakes region will meet Thursday to find a solution to fighting in the Democratic Republic of Congo between the armed forces and M23 militants. Residents of the eastern town of Goma are hoping for a quick and firm end to the conflict.

A love song in a time of war is heard inside a guitar shop in Goma, where students practice their chord progressions. Meanwhile outside, the military battles a tenacious group of rebel soldiers.
 
Shop owner Emmanuel Birubi said Congolese people have a natural gift for guitar. Sadly, though, in the midst of conflict, he said nobody has the money to spend on music.
 
“When there is war, people don’t have the means to buy anything. But when there is peace, people are OK, they don’t worry, they can come to buy a guitar,” explained Birubi.

Tentative progress

After nearly two weeks of fierce fighting outside the city, Birubi hopes the military will finish off the M23 rebels once and for all. “All the time, they talk about peace, but so far no solution. So my wish is that the army will continue to fight until they finish the war,” he said.
 
In the last two weeks, Congolese armed forces, backed by United Nations peacekeepers, have pushed the rebels back from within striking distance of Goma. The rebels had briefly seized control of the city in November, and until now, had held positions just 10 kilometers from the population.
 
The ongoing conflict has taken its greatest toll on civilians. Thousands of people have fled to camps like this since the rebellion began last year. With fighting recently renewed, a new influx of people has put a real strain on resources and has raised the cost of living.
 
Muchengeri Jean-Baptiste Ndandi fled to the Mugunga camp from the nearby hills as fighting intensified last November. “There is hunger. We are suffering. See the place where I’m sleeping, see how the children are living, these are the problem we have here.”

Eastern Congo has long been wracked by war, fueled by historic tension between neighbors and the scramble for natural resources.
 
As the region’s leaders point fingers and trade blame, people here just hope the fighting will stop long enough for a more normal life to begin again.

You May Like

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Judge Declares Washington DC Ban on Public Handguns Unconstitutional

Ruling overturns capital city's prohibition on carrying guns in pubic More

Pricey Hepatitis C Drug Draws Criticism

Activists are using the International AIDS Conference to criticize drug companies for charging high prices for life-saving therapies More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid