DR Congo

Bunia (DR Congo) (AFP) UN peacekeepers have found eight decomposing bodies in a village in the volatile Ituri province of northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo, the agency told AFP on Friday. A local official said the eight had been killed during a March 12-13 attack on Djugu area in which at least 30 people were killed by assailants using guns, machetes and arrows. “MONUSCU peacekeepers found eight lifeless, decomposing bodies in a village in the Djugu area yesterday,” said Guy Karema, a spokesman for the UN mission who is basedRead More
Bukavu (DR Congo) (AFP) The former anti-corruption chief fighting fraud in DR Congo’s lucrative eastern mines has been jailed for life by a military court on charges of rebellion and murder, judicial sources told AFP. Abbas Kayonga was arrested by UN peacekeepers in the eastern city of Bukavu on November 5 just days after his dismissal for “grave negligence”. Efforts by Congolese troops to arrest him had sparked deadly clashes with his bodyguards, which left six people dead before the UN troops intervened. He appeared at military court in BukavuRead More
Kinshasa (AFP) A government crackdown on demonstrations against President Joseph Kabila in Democratic Republic of Congo has led to the killing of 47 people in just over a year, a UN report seen by AFP said Monday. “Between 1 January 2017 and 31 January 2018, at least 47 people, including women and children, were killed by security services and defence forces in the context of demonstrations,” the report states. It added that there were indications Congolese security services had attempted to cover up the deaths by removing the bodies ofRead More
Kinshasa (AFP) A body linked to the powerful Catholic Church in Democratic Republic of Congo on Sunday called on the United Nations to strengthen its role during December elections. The Lay Coordination Committee (CLC), which has held marches against President Joseph Kabila, said it was asking the UN for “more resources to the UN mission in Congo for the protection of civilians during the pre-electoral and post-electoral period”. In a letter to UN chief Antonio Guterres, the CLC said it also wanted Kabila’s government to implement a string of measuresRead More
Bunia (DR Congo) (AFP) Dozens of people were killed overnight in fresh clashes in DR Congo’s volatile northeastern Ituri province, sharpening an ethnic conflict that has already forced tens of thousands to flee, officials said Tuesday. At least 30 people were killed in the latest unrest, which came in the wake of the interior minister’s visit to the region. “We have recorded 30 deaths. There are certainly other bodies out in the bush. A search is underway,” a government official said. Other sources gave a higher toll. “In the villageRead More
Kinshasa (AFP) DR Congo President Joseph Kabila enacted a law to hike taxes on so-called strategic metals and ordered government consultations with foreign companies worried by the change, an official said Sunday. “The law has been promulgated in the same form as was adopted by parliament,” a presidential adviser who asked not to be named told AFP. The new text replaces the Democratic Republic of Congo’s 2002 mining code, which the government considered to favour foreign investors at the expense of the economy. The new code allows a levy ofRead More
Kinshasa (AFP) UN chief Antonio Guterres on Friday hailed “progress” towards holding long-delayed elections in DR Congo but criticised the government for brutally putting down demonstrations against President Joseph Kabila. Kabila was due to stand down from office in December 2016, ending his second elected term. But he has controversially stayed on under laws enabling him to retain power until his successor is elected. The latest timetable to hold elections is for December 23 — a year later than scheduled under a New Year’s Eve 2016 peace deal brokered byRead More
Kinshasa (AFP) DR Congo President Joseph Kabila has promised to have “constructive dialogue” with mining companies worried over plans to hike taxes on so-called strategic metals, a category expected to include the booming market for cobalt and copper. Kabila on Tuesday held more than seven hours of talks with leading players in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s mining sector over plans to change the country’s 2002 mining code. “The president reassures mining operators that they are economic partners in the DRC and that their concerns will be taken into accountRead More
Bunia (DR Congo) (AFP) The assailants were methodical. They came in waves. First came the ones who killed. Then came the ones who torched homes. And finally, the ones who looted anything of value. Ahead of them, terrorised villagers fled for their lives — the latest victims of the ethnic conflict that bedevils Ituri, the troubled northeastern province of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The bloodshed is part of a cycle of violence between the Hema and Lendu communities, cattle herders and farmers who have long fought over land —Read More
Kinshasa (AFP) Civil opposition groups in Democratic Republic of Congo called for a general strike on Friday in protest at the killing of activists during anti-government demonstrations. Gloria Senga, an activist of the Struggle For Change movement, called at a news conference for a stoppage “in memory of our brothers and sisters whom the enemy has killed in cowardice”. Anti-government protests in the vast central African country have turned deadly in recent months. The Catholic church and UN peacekeepers say 17 people have been killed overall. President Joseph Kabila hasRead More