Thousands of people have been displaced and are pouring into towns in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo as an upsurge in violence in the Lubero and Beni territories takes its toll, writes Baliesima Kadukima Albert, Coordinator of Health and HIV/AIDS programmes for the Anglican Church of the Province of Congo.
The political situation and security in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo is exponentially deteriorating as we approach the elections due in 2011. In Lubero and Beni territories, rebels from Uganda (NALU - National Army for the liberation of Uganda) and those from Rwanda (FDLR - Front pour la liberation du Rwanda ) have increased their atrocities on the civilians. More Congolese rebel groups are coming up and causing problems to the population as well as the NALU and FDLR rebels.
In May 2010, Mai-Mai militia attacked a military training position in Beni killing civilians and burning hundreds of houses. Early in July, NALU rebels attacked the position of the Congolese national army in Mutwanga (around 30 km from Beni towards the border with Uganda) and killed eight civilians and injured many more others. Since 11 July fighting has been reported in Isale, Eringeti, between NALU and the national Army, which has led to the killing of more than 30 people, the rape of girls and women, and the displacement of more than 25,000 people lacking food and any other assistance. These internally displaced persons (IDPs) are lacking food and any other items for basic needs. They sleep in schools and churches, and so far churches have been providing little food but not enough to handle such number of IDPs.
The Democratic Republic of Congo has been a unique county that was led by four presidents for around five years before the first democratic elections that took place in 2006. Elections have led some of the presidents and their followers to lose power, but they have been going back to form rebel movements to get back the power as ministers, highly ranked military officials, etc. The DRC has a sad experience whereby, if one needs to get into the government, the easiest way is to form a militia group that will cause problems to the population by raping, killing, looting. Once the Government recognises that these rebels are able to perpetrate all these atrocities to people, then they come to negotiate with them and provide a good position in the Government or in the Army.
Congo needs more prayers.