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

9.04.2007

congo watch

North Kivu is descending into war. This is more than the usual low-level violence.

The FARDC (Congo's national army) made its first helicopter gunship run and claims to have killed 50 of Nkunda's rebels.

There's fighting in Sake. I think we can safely assume that the pygmy families have again had to flee.

10,000 refugees have crossed the border into Uganda.

Nkunda's men (who are Congolese Tutsi rebels (And, if we're honest, he's got a bunch of Rwandan Tutsis under his command as well.)) have taken huge sectors of Virunga national park. They're apparently chasing the FDLR, who are the Rwandan Hutu rebels. This means, among other things, that the mountain gorillas in the park are at serious risk.

As best as I can gather, the government is also supposed to be going after the FDLR. But these clashes are aimed at Nkunda's men. Confused yet?

Radio Okapi says that Rwanda is "ready" to mediate between Nkunda and the DRC government.

My friends say Goma is tense but fine.

I don't know whether to believe them or not. If I were still in the region, I would have left by now.

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