The situation in eastern DR Congo around Rumangabo remains very bad according to Monuc who has just reported that the CNDP attack on Rumangabo on 7 October, has left over 15,000 people displaced and fleeing or living in makeshift camps. They state that in a recent visit they found Rumangabo had been “virtually emptied of it inhabitants”, and these who had returned had suffered a campaign of “systematic lootings by the armed forces of the DRC (FARDC)”. Emmanuel reports on the Virunga Park website that rangers have been able to prevent any looting of the Rumangabo Headquarters of the the Virunga National Park and while many rangers have returned to Rumangabo but their families are still in the temporary camp for their own security in Goma.
Efforts however are underway to try and halt the cycle of violence and the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday urged an immediate ceasefire by all parties to halt the resurgence of violence in the eastern provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
A number of organizations are trying to raise awareness and international reaction including blogs like Peter Godspeed who predicts that “The war the world ignored, at the cost of more than five million dead since 1998, is exploding once again” and Abayomi Azikiwe writing about the historical background and who thinks that the UN is posed for greater intervention in the Congo.
The main concern being raised in the news is the humanitarian crisis resulting from recent fighting which puts the civilian population at great risk and is hampering humanitarian operations. There is universal condemnation for the recruitment and use of children by armed groups, and the continued use of sexual and gender-based violence.
Despite all the attention the rhetoric is escalating, rebels have rejected the call for a ceasefire and the UN is poised to strengthen the Monuc forces in Kivus, while President Kabila himself has been on Congolese television appealing to the people of eastern DRC to take up arms and defeat Laurent Nkunda and his rebels.