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Congo in the news: What’s going on with M23?!

November 21, 2012

Since Congo has been showing up in the news again over the past few days, I just wanted to post a quick update to let family and friends know that Jamie and I are OK and that all of these happenings haven’t reached us here in Bukavu… yet.

M23 took control of Goma, and now may start toward Bukavu

 A little background

About 60 miles north of us across Lake Kivu, the city of Goma officially fell yesterday to the rebel group called M23 after several days of fighting against the DRC National Army (FARDC) and the UN Peacekeeping force (MONUSCO).  We’re hearing reports now that M23 is planning to pursue the DRC National Army, who fled Goma into the town of Sake in our province of South Kivu.  There have also been rumors that M23 may now start moving toward Bukavu.

For more detailed information on recent events and a more political analysis, I highly recommend author Jason Stearns’ blog, Congo Siasa, especially the following posts:

 

On top of all this, there were protests and aggression yesterday in the cities of Kinshasa and Kisangani against both the DRC government and MONUSCO by civilians who were disappointed and demoralized that neither force could effectively protect Goma from capture.  An interesting article in The Globe and Mail (Goma’s fall leaves Congo afraid of score settling and all-out war) talks about the potential long and short-term effects this renewed fighting may mean for Congo in general.

 In Bukavu

For the moment, we are still in Bukavu and things are relatively calm.  However, if M23 does end up moving in our direction or things heat up in some other way, there’s a good chance that we’ll end up evacuating to calmer pastures.  We have our ‘go-bags’ ready and plans in place.

At this point though, I am much more concerned about the safety of all of the civilians who don’t have the chance to evacuate, who don’t have ‘go-bags’ and SUV convoys, who constantly get dragged into this stupid violence year after year.

Our hearts and our thoughts go out to all of our friends and co-workers and their families, all of our beneficiaries in North and South Kivu, and everyone whose lives have been or will be affected by what is happening right now.  Pole sana.  Tuko pamoja na nyinyi.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Aunt Melodee permalink
    November 21, 2012 4:52 pm

    My dear loved ones, I know and trust that your depth of experience and understanding of the region, its history, and its people will serve you well during this trial. My heart aches for the unimaginable suffering and uncertainty the people have endured for so long, but every selfish cell of my being wishes you were home with us right now. Until I can physically wrap my arms around you both, I am sending you virtual hugs and all the positive thoughts I can muster for your continued safety and for the peaceful and swift resolution of the conflict. I love you both, and hope we will be able to “see” you tomorrow.

Trackbacks

  1. Evacu-cation: 10 days in Bujumbura during the November M23 fighting « Les Aventures de Jamie & Katie

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