DR Congo

DR Congo: Overall situation is calm despite clashes and looting in the sector of Kiwanja

News and Press Release
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Kinshasa 20 November 2008: The security situation in the east is calm overall. The ceasefire is holding, with the exception of some deplorable incidents in North Kivu. In Goma, the reinforcement of MONUC troops continues, with daily day and night patrols carried out in collaboration with the DRC Armed Forces (FARDC) and the Congolese National Police (PNC) to ensure the security of the population and the city.

Three incidents were recorded today. The first took place in Katoro, 3km east of Kiwanja, where a short exchange of gunfire took place between the CNDP and the Mai Mai. The provisional report gives a report indicates three Mai Mai wounded, that were admitted to Nyamilima hospital.

The second incident took palce in the areas around Kinyandoni, where a group of Mai Mai coming from Nyongera, 2km further north, came upon members of the CNDP. Shots were fired in the air before they retreated to their point of origin.

Finally, a Blue Helmets patrol on the Rwindi-Vitshumbi area calmed the gunfire of Mai Mai/Pareco around Vitshumbi; there were no casualties.

In addition, MONUC deplores the systematic plundering, by men in uniform, of the therapeutic nutritional centre of Kanya, 25km north of Kanyabanyonga and 200km from Goma. This centre belongs to the NGO "Lutheran World Federation" (LWF) and accomodates fifty malnourished children, whose lives are now threatened because of the looting.

MONUC continues to lead patrols in various sectors in order to ensure that the parties respect the zones of separation, and to reduce the risks of incidents which would compromise the ceasefire.

It is within this framework that approximately 70 Mai Mai, coming from Kanybanyonga on the way to Kiwanja were stopped at the Rwindi barrier.