"Africa is, indeed, coming into fashion." - Horace Walpole (1774)


congo watch: final roundup on kinshasa

Finally some good news from Kinshasa. Things appear to be returning to normal. I read somewhere that Bemba has surrendered to MONUC, but I can't find independent confirmation that he's anywhere other than holed up in the South African embassy. Here's what will hopefully be my final roundup of news about this episode.
  • On a personal note, Thank goodness, I finally heard from some of my friends this morning. They are safe, although one was stuck at their children's school for two days. Unfortunately, there is unexploded ordnance in their yard, so they haven't been able to go home yet.
  • They also know most of my other Kinshasa friends, so I'm assuming that they're fine. I haven't heard from N yet, but she is from a pretty prominent family and I assume that no news is good news. Thanks for your prayers for my friends' safety.
  • Things really are getting back to normal in Kinshasa. We know this because there's once again traffic.
  • Kate has a good explanation of what apparently started all the trouble, as well as photos of some of the damage. You can look at the bullet holes in her apartment building and windows here. She also notes that Peloustore was not looted after all.
  • Surprise, surprise, Bemba wants asylum from the South Africans. Thanks, Fred, for the link.
  • The Nigerian Ambassador is in stable condition.
  • Casualty reports are still spotty, but Radio Okapi appears to be counting at least 25 dead, with no report on deaths from Mama Yemo, the main hospital. Presumbaly there are several other deaths that have not been counted.
  • The airport is open again. There is quite a line at the office of SN Brussels Airlines.

Thanks again to my regular readers for your patience with all these Congo stories. We now return to this blog's regularly scheduled topics, including the fact that the increasing instability in the east is largely caused by members of the army and police forces. Sigh.



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