Photo Marie Frechon/MONUC “Nearly 100,000 Congolese have been displaced in the last three months alone, and given the population in the areas attacked in the past few days, as many as 30,000 additional people could be forced from their homes”. Christian Science Monitor.
Although the CNDP rebels have left Rumangabo, the situation on the ground is still dire because of the presence of so many armed militas in the area who are threatening the local population. Alan Doss of the United Nations peace keeping force, Monuc, has raised concerns about harrassment and abuse by armed groups, including FARDC, the FDLR and the CNDP and warns that there are fifty thousand armed men in North and South Kivu. Monuc has sought the support of the United Nations Security Council for troop reinforcement to protect civilian populations in North Kivu.
In a letter to the Medical relief group here Doss explains that a human rights violations can only be controlled if these armed groups are removed from villages, roads, markets and fields,
50 of the Virunga National Park rangers and their families are still safe in Goma and you can see photos here where Amir explains
“The area around Rumangabo is swamped with armed men, intent on pillaging the most vulnerable. A band came to the station yesterday and started breaking into the main building. The rangers fired in the air to scare them away. The bandits fired back in all directions. We heard later that they hit one of their own, killing him.
So it looks like things may begin to settle down. It’s an uneasy peace, but hopefully a situation that will allow us to go back to our business of protecting the park within a few days. We’ve made the decision to move the families out of the camp within a week. They will either go to an established refugee camp, where the big humanitarian agencies will provide them with food and healthcare, or hopefully, the situation will be sufficiently peaceful for us to be able to take them back to their homes at Rumangabo”.