Joe Bavier

Congo refugees flee after attack near camp

Thousands of refugees poured out of camps in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo's violent North Kivu province on Tuesday after the army said Tutsi-dominated insurgents attacked its positions. Army troops repelled the dawn raid on their positions near Mugunga camp, killing 27 fighters loyal to renegade General Laurent Nkunda.

DRC experts hurry to test river for radiation

Environmental experts hurried to the south-eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on Thursday to test water from a river where authorities suspect 18 tonnes of radioactive minerals were dumped last week. Officials feared contamination of the river, an important source of drinking water for thousands of people in Katanga province.

Radioactive minerals dumped in DRC

Authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo have launched an inquiry into the suspected dumping of 18 tonnes of highly radioactive minerals into a river in Katanga province. The minerals, including 17 tonnes of copper ore with a level of radioactivity 50 times the tolerable limit, were seized last month in the southern Katanga mining town of Likasi.

Ugandan rebel commander surrenders in DRC

A commander of Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) has surrendered in northern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and is in the custody of Congolese authorities, the United Nations said on Tuesday. Opiyo Makasi, reported to be the rebel group's operations and logistics commander, gave himself up along with his wife.

DRC army warns militia to disarm, thousands flee

Democratic Republic of Congo's army on Sunday gave pro-government militia fighters 48 hours to disarm or face military action as thousands more people fled renewed fighting in the eastern province of North Kivu. Explosions and gunfire rang out before dawn in the hills around Rugari, a town of tin-roofed houses near the Rwandan and Ugandan borders.

DRC readies offensive as rebel general remains defiant

The Democratic Republic of Congo's (DRC) army says desertions have weakened rebel forces ahead of a planned offensive against them, but rebel general Laurent Nkunda remains defiant. On Thursday the army put on show what they said were 80 deserters wearing ragtag uniforms from Nkunda's forces.

DRC army given green light to disarm rebels

The Democratic Republic of Congo's (DRC) army has orders to forcibly disarm soldiers loyal to renegade general Laurent Nkunda, President Joseph Kabila said on Wednesday, but he declined to say when the offensive would begin. ''The armed forces ... have received the green light to begin, or rather to prepare, the forced disarmament of Mr Nkunda,'' Kabila said.

UN urges Congo rebels to disband as deadline passes

The United Nations made a last appeal on Monday for rebel Congolese soldiers to rejoin the national army. Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila had given renegade General Laurent Nkunda until Monday to send his fighters to army integration centres or see them forcibly disarmed.

Rebel DRC general abandons ceasefire

Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) renegade general Laurent Nkunda on Monday abandoned a month-old ceasefire and blamed government army attacks for fresh fighting in an eastern border province. His announcement heralded more conflict and humanitarian suffering in DRC's North Kivu province, which has long been a tinderbox of ethnic tensions.

DRC sacks transport minister after air disaster

Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) President Joseph Kabila sacked his transport minister on Friday after an air crash that killed 52 people in the Central African country, which has one of the world's worst aviation safety records. The decision was announced as DRC's Cabinet met to discuss air safety after Thursday's accident.

DRC hopes hi-tech ID cards will tame unruly army

Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) hopes a new biometric identity card (ID) scheme backed by the European Union can help overhaul its undisciplined armed forces, branded by campaigners as the central African state's worst rights abuser. After decades as a tool of repression under former leader Mobutu Sese Seko and a devastating 1998 to 2003 war, DRC's army is bloated, unmanageable and corrupt.

Uganda-DRC border shooting kills six

Six civilians were killed when Ugandan soldiers opened fire on a Congolese passenger boat on Lake Albert on Monday, in the latest border flare up between the Great Lakes neighbours. In a conflicting version of the shooting incident, Uganda's military reported two soldiers killed, one from each country.

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