New Violence Rages in Eastern Congo

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Violence has once again plagued the eastern part Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) where armed groups have targeted civilians in the area.

Reports say massacres of civilians have made headlined beginning early in August.

According to UN, the deterioration of the overall security situation in North Kivu following the M23 mutiny and related ruthless attacks against civilians is extremely alarming.

Last week, the clashes between army troops and rebels have drove hundreds of people in North Kivu fled toward the city of Goma by road trying to escape the fighting and find refuge in safer grounds.

Reports say one of the key actors is a group of renegade soldiers known as the 23 March Movement (M23).

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A Congolese soldier with a PK machine gun near the Rwandan border, 2001.

The M23 has clashed with national army troops and peacekeepers from the UN Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO), which has caused massive displacement of local residents.

The M23’s activities have led to condemnation from Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the Security Council as well.

According to UN, more than 45 attacks on some 30 villages and towns in the Ufamandu I and II areas, in Masisi territory, in North Kivu province since May this year.

In May this year, fighting has resumed in eastern DRC in recent weeks between Government forces, dissident groups and militia, causing new inflows of refugees enter Rwanda and Uganda.

Reports say 30,000 refugees have arrived in Uganda this month. In addition, Uganda was already host to 175,127 refugees, including 97,424 from DRC.

According to UNHCR, more than 8,200 refugees have crossed from DRC into Rwanda since 27 April. These are in addition to the 55,000 Congolese refugees that Rwanda is already hosting.

The conflict was coupled with very limited access for humanitarian workers means that many thousands of people are without protection and help.

Reports also states that the recent Congo has caused suffering for civilians who are experiencing displacement, human rights violations, and loss of property.

UNHCR reported that the situation has worsened in recent months amid recent fighting between DRC forces and soldiers loyal to former rebel commander Bosco Ntaganda.

In January this year, a fresh violence erupted in eastern parts of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), displacing more than 100,000 civilians the provinces of North Kivu and South Kivu.

The clashes are reported to have begun in November last year.

There were an estimated 1.7 million internally displaced people (IDPs) in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as of July 2011, the vast majority of them in the eastern provinces of North and South Kivu. This included over 128,000 people newly displaced in the first quarter of 2011.

A peace agreement in 2003 formally brought years of war to a close, but fighting flared again in North Kivu that same year. An estimated 1.3 million IDPs remain in the DRC, while 350,000 Congolese have fled to other countries.

Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain English. Mina Fabulous is the pen name of Carmen Avalino, the NewsBlaze production editor. When she isn’t preparing stories for NewsBlaze writers, she writes stories, but to separate her editing and writing identities, she uses the name given by her family and friends.