Democratic Republic of Congo

Goma residents up in arms about ‘privatised’ access to lake

 
Lake Kivu is known as a haven for residents of Goma. Some go there for a swim; others earn money by doing odd jobs there. However, a recent decision by the government to grant plots of land to deserving soldiers has greatly reduced access to the site. Read more...
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Giant solar-panelled robot catching bad drivers in DR Congo

A giant robot has been sitting in the middle of the road in Lumumbashi, the Democratic Republic of Congo’s second largest city, since last week. It’s not a work of art – it’s an actual traffic controller. Read more...

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Goma gets a makeshift makeover for mining conference

When Goma was chosen to host the second edition of the Conference on Transparency in Mining in the Democratic Republic of Congo, authorities decided that the city needed a quick-fix makeover. But three days after the conference ended, residents are resigned to the fact that the “repairs” were only temporary. Read more...

DR Congo: Where anti-malaria mosquito nets serve as garden fences

 
Every year, an estimated 180,000 people die from the mosquito-carried malaria virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Yet a preventative government initiative to hand out mosquito nets has partially backfired, with many people using the nets as garden fences. Read more...
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DR Congo’s 'road from hell' paved with illegal roadblocks

Unofficial roadblocks are a problem throughout the Democratic Republic of Congo, but the issue is particularly acute in conflict zones, like in the North and South Kivu provinces. In these areas, makeshift roadblocks keep popping up, and people have little recourse but to pay those who run them. This racket has become very costly for locals. Read more...

Spate of village chief killings hits northeast DR Congo

 
Since July, seven village chiefs have been killed in the Watalinga area, northeast Democratic Republic of Congo. These assassinations, which are the work of a militia called ADF-Nalu, have sent the local population into a panic. Read more...
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Rwandan women drum up hope in the Great Lakes region

 
Music soothes the soul and brings people together. This idea is the driving force behind Ingoma Nshya, a drum ensemble that has been challenging stereotypes. The group, which is composed entirely of Rwandan women even though drums are traditionally reserved for men, is made up of both Hutu and Tutsi women. Their music spreads the message of reconciliation in Rwanda, a country still affected by the 1994 genocide, as well as in the conflict-racked Kivu region of the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo, where they recently played a concert. Read more...

Police crack down on street vendors in DR Congo

 
Authorities in Kinshasa have launched a crackdown on street vendors who sell their wares on the capital’s avenues. Though this was presented as a “pedagogical” operation, police ended up destroying and burning stalls on Wednesday morning. One of our Observers filmed them in action. Read more...
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Posters praising DR Congo’s army: well deserved or too soon?

 
Following a massive offensive in the northeast region of North Kivu, the Congolese army has routed the M23 rebel movement, which was chased from its last two positions on November 5. In the capital Kinshasa, large posters now hail the might of the Congolese army, but some of our Observers remain sceptical. Read more...
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