This is from a friend in Goma. I've taken out some of what he wrote for security and streamlining. They ask for prayer for peace, and to spread this news:
"yes, the situation here is really bad …. yesterday the Sake road was full of old mamas and papas and little children carrying everything they had moving toward Goma for security. So tragic. Mugunga area has easily 10,000 tiny grass shelters …and the rains are coming (have arrived) and everyone is soaked. 1500 fresh troops arrived from Kinshasa yesterday along with two helicopter gunships…Goma is looking more like a garrison town. [Name redacted for security] says the army is preparing for a major attack on Nkunde….17,000 mai mai are marching to Rutshuru to support the DRC army….talk about a rag tag rape and run army.
"...several Tutsi’s have been murdered in Goma town the last few days. Tensions are rising."
"The food situation here is becoming a crisis….tens of thousands displaced, no water, no sanitation, no food. UN seems paralyzed by it too…I’m sure they are planning but I don’t see any action. We sent out a team this afternoon to the Mugunga settlement…to assess the situation. ...I think we should be sounding the alarm."
Texas in Africa:
On another note, I haven't heard from C & E, and I am a little concerned. Although they are not from the east, E's physical features have caused some to mistake her for a Tutsi in the past. Please pray for their safety.
It's really bad. If they don't organize water and sanitation in the camps immediately, Goma will see yet another cholera outbreak within the next 3-5 days. Mugunga is roughly the area where many of the refugee camps were in 1994-96, and to say that people in the region have bad memories of this time would be a gross understatement. This is really bad.
(Above is a picture of the Sake road that I took in June. I am trying to imagine what it looks like now, packed with refugees carrying everything they can rather than with the cows and overloaded buses and carts that constitute its normal traffic.)