Congo RDC Congolese Today The UN shoot on civilians in the east of the DRC

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  • #1123


    It was the 17/06/2016, the seven helicopters of the United Nations forces in the DRC (Monusco: un mission for the security and stability in the DRC), fired rockets prohibited on civilians, Congolese and rwandan hutu refugees, in the villages Of canabutaka and surrounding area, in locality mubirubiru, grouping kihondo, community bwito, territory rutchuru, province of north kivu. This operation was the rebels fdlr (Democratic Forces for the liberation of Rwanda) presents in this area. The helicopters fired rockets while depositing the un troops on the ground, two women are dead on the field to which Mrs Elizabeth and several wounded men women and children, including: 1) Mrs. Manyuriza, a woman, her nipples cut off by the Splinters of the rocket; 2) a child of more or less five years suffering from a severe fracture of the leg; 3) Mr Kigingi Sendugu of more or less 27 years old, his four fingers cut off and his leg badly Hurt my knee; 4) mweretse manyuriza; 5) Mr Rukirande, both his legs cut off by the Jr Rockets; 5) Mrs. Madamu fone shot in the belly of where abortion; (6) 2 children injured Separated from their parents which is why we don’t know their names; 7) several disappeared among the local civilian population (wounded or dead). All these injuries have been transferred to the health centre of nyanzare. The helicopters of the monusco also have evacuated many wounded civilians at the time of the operation, which lasted more than 6 hours; noise of helicopters and resounding rockets during the progression of airborne troops on the ground. The Local Red Cross (grouping kihondo) with its leader Mr. Imani Jean + 243899870921 has acted a little late and have buried a dead woman to bucanataka 18/06/2016, promising to the families victims of identify victims and continue his work on 19/06/2016 In search of others wounded or dead in the villages bombed or in the surrounding scrub. These members of the red cross are back on the ground on 19/06/2016 as promised and have collected the jr rockets fired by the helicopters and other indices of the drama, such as the blood of the dead or injured, musical instruments damaged in the Temples and the property of the people destroyed by the helicopters monusco firing Rockets.
    The International Community should intervene in favor of international humanitarian law and the victim population, while taking measures against this despicable act (shoot the targets civilians). The United Nations should compensate the families of victims and condemn criminals (war crimes and crimes against humanity).
    Below the photos of the members of the local red cross from the funeral of a woman victim to kiyeye / canabutaka on 18/06/2016.

    #26667

    Two things come to disturb the court record of the former governor of Katanga. There is first the disappearance of Ms. Wazuri Ramazani, a former Justice Chair of Kamalondo Peace Court in Lubumbashi, which was recently sent to the Congolese authorities a letter in which it retracts into the judgment against Moses Katumbi to three years’ imprisonment and disqualification. As if that was not enough and before
    joy or anger tears dry, now the agents of the judicial order of the same court of peace disappear with important documents, especially all the criminal files concerning the said trial between the former governor to Alexandros Stoupis, concerning a building located in the town of Kapemba.

    The communiqué issued yesterday in the media by the Court of Appeal of Lubumbashi, under the signature of the Registrar Main Ildefonso Ngoy Tangiza Mata, who denounced these facts, scandalized public opinion for several reasons. From the outset, observers do not understand
    the eagerness with which the Principal Registrar of the Court of Appeal of Lubumbashi responded while taking the fact advance the cause of one of the parties to the trial.

    Now, according to the general principles of law and criminal procedure, in view of the seriousness of the facts, it is the general Lubumbashi parquet initiate preliminary investigations in advance to know the ins and outs of this business. What
    allow investigators to determine responsibility for each other. To date, we do not know the whereabouts of Ms. Ramazani Wazuri. Is she dead or in exile? It is the mystery.

    Then, when the criminal files of the trial concerning Moses Katumbi find themselves? This would be the normal procedure that the Prosecutor General at the Court of Appeal of Lubumbashi could have followed instead of deciding without evidence. Accusing Moses Katumbi have implemented a network to disappear judges, graft and especially criminal cases concerning officers without having investigated, the same Court of Appeal went quickly suspecting “promise outside asylum the officials of the judiciary in positioning of evil. ”

    disturbing confession of the Court of Appeal
    Another fact that trouble the consciences is none other than the
    recognition of the letter written by the presiding judge of the Court
    Peace Lubumbashi in which it denounces the lack of consideration
    the bottom of this case between Moses Katumbi against Alexandros
    Stoupis. Yet another central government authority had taxed
    false because addressed to the Minister of Justice instead of the first
    President of the Higher Judicial Council.
    A dispatch from Radio Okapi captured yesterday evening in Kinshasa
    indicates that seven clerks Kamalondo Peace Court had
    arrest. Late at night, three of them were
    released. We hope the interrogations to be carried out will
    illuminate the religion of the people to restore the truth about this
    case that tears the nation.

    #26668

    The Committee of International Development ‘International Development Committee “(IDC) visit the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) since Monday, 4 July 2016. This parliamentary group led by Stephen Twigg meet members of the Congolese government, the president of the National Assembly and members of the parliamentary groups.

    To believe the press release received by the newspaper Le Phare, other meetings are planned with the economic actors of the private sector and the international development assistance community. “The other important aspect of this visit is to see on the ground, the impact of programs funded by the British government,” says one in the document.

    Also, these elected officials will visit the provinces of Kasai Central and North Kivu, where they will visit the large portfolio of UK aid programs in the areas of water and sanitation, the fight against malaria, education, development sector
    Private and finally peace and stability programs.

    On the sidelines of many field visits, the members of the British Parliament will also meet with the governors of two provinces they visit.

    With an annual budget of around £ 150 million bilateral aid to development in the past five years, the DRC is the 5th largest investment of British cooperation in Africa. What justifies the interest of British MPs to visit
    DRC.

    About IDC, it should be noted that monitors policy, administration and expenditure of UK Aid through the UK Department for International Cooperation (DFID) and its associated public bodies, and focuses on policies and procedures
    multilateral agencies and non-governmental organizations recipients of contributions from DFID.

    The Committee is composed of eleven members of the backbench Parliament. The Committee Chairman is Stephen Twigg MP, deputy Labor Party Liverpool West Derby.

    The International Development Committee was established in 1997 in response to the creation of the British Cooperation / DFID (formerly the Overseas Development Administration).

    #26669

    The Study Centre for Social Action (CEPAS) houses, from Monday 20 to Friday, June 24, 2016, the project coordination meeting RAF 0041 on “Sharing experience in preventive maintenance of nuclear facilities.” Twenty-four experts from different nationalities eighteen countries take part. These include: Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, Morocco, Mauritania, Niger, of the United Republic of Tanzania, Tunisia, Sudan, Zambia, Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

    The opening ceremony was marked by four speeches delivered respectively by the General Commissioner for Atomic Energy and the National Liaison Officer, Professor Vincent Lukanda Mwamba, the National Coordinator AFRA, Professor Sébastien Luyindula Ndiku, the expert the international Atomic energy Agency (IAEA), Yacouba Diawara and the Deputy Director of the office of the Minister of Scientific and technological Research.

    Nuclear power at the base of the socio-economic development of most advanced countries called

    In his welcome address, the Commissioner General for Atomic Energy and the National Liaison Officer, Professor Vincent Lukanda Mwamba, began by thanking the International Agency of Atomic Energy for choosing the DR Congo to host the last meeting coordination registered under the RAF0041 project. To this end, he reassured him of the availability of this country to its infrastructure and resources for the training of the African elite in the field of nuclear science and technology.

    Going back to history, Professor Vincent Lukanda Mwamba recalled that a few years ago, nuclear world going for the third time in its history, by a major accident: the nuclear disaster at Fukushima Daiichi. This accident will dominate for a long debates on bienfondés of nuclear energy in the world. Although primarily due to natural events, this accident does not diminish the potential of civil nuclear energy and its many benefits to humanity.

    According to the Commissioner General for Atomic Energy and the National Liaison Officer, today nuclear energy is the basis of socio-economic development of most so-called “advanced” countries. His mastery, he stressed, is not only the evidence of national prestige, but also a technological expertise that puts all these nations at the head of world powers still have a say in the
    concert of nations.

    Behind every accident, observed Professor Vincent Lukanda Mwamba is either man or technology that are suspected to be the cause. Hence, according to him, the importance of this meeting. For it is time to exchange on the role of preventive maintenance of scientific and medical instruments. Science, he noted, is nothing without experience, and scientific experience is based 80% on the quality of the equipment. To give a really satisfactory results, measuring equipment should be subject to serious maintenance program, both in terms of preventive maintenance and in terms of curative maintenance.

    Professor Vincent Lukanda Mwamba rest finally convinced that over the four years of the RAF 0041 project every African country was able to make the best of it, endowing its resource maintenance laboratories both human and instrumental . His most ardent wish: at the close of 0041 RAF project, that our continent has had time to train its managers to meet the challenges of having expertise in place to deal with many maintenance problems still posed scientific instruments in our country.

    #26670

    The uncertainty over the survival of the political party “Union for the development of Congo,” and fears expressed by some supporters Baudouin Banza Mukalay, the dislocation of their party, have given way in recent times, in faith the aftermath. And for good reason !

    The Union for the Development of Congo, party allied to the Majority
    presidential, orphaned after the death of its president
    national, Baudouin Banza Mukalay Sungu, last May, comes in
    Indeed, to find a new guardian, one who intends to
    his energy and his intelligence for the survival of this
    political, for the revitalization of its activities and
    continuation of its implementation program in other provinces
    from the country.
    This multifaceted gem whose name rarely filtered
    in political circles, is as it should be reported, the
    Honorary Governor of the Central Bank of Congo, Jean-Claude
    Masangu Mulongo. Hopes that suddenly has to raise
    within the UDCO, when dry the tears of activists and
    frames, are the size of its determination to make a
    Party flagship of the Presidential Majority. If no obstacle strewn
    the path that will lead to his enthronement as head of the UDCO, and
    official presentation, it is believed that the man we
    surprises with its political facet, had certainly taken before
    the extent of its future responsibilities and even political leader
    arduous and difficult tasks ahead to federate
    skills and revive militancy in the UDCO.
    Already in his favor, favorable echoes are heard here and there and
    other political leaders believe that to fill the void in the
    UDCO the head, Jean-Claude Masangu is the leader and which need
    will bring some new energy in its march towards the conquest of
    power.
    For political analysts, Jean-Claude Masangu, best known for
    its discretion, would be the ideal leader whose characteristic
    key is efficiency in its action programs. It is known
    that even for a political formation of the scale of the UDCO it
    ensure that the basic tenets of orthodox management are
    scrupulously respected executives more responsibility
    differ in their spheres of activity. He is the defender
    hard to the famous formula of “the right man in the place it
    must. ”
    But beyond its very particular character traits, the new
    guardian UDCO remains an open man and that has meaning
    pronounced relationships. With him, the UDCO will weave the web of his
    partnerships with African and European political parties
    pursuing the same objectives. What would be good for
    this political anxious to expand its visibility
    outside national boundaries.
    However, it suggests that his inauguration in command of
    the UDCO could take place before the fortieth day after the
    loss of its moral authority Baudouin Banza Mukalay.

    #26671

    The new scares everyone: Kivu as a whole is endangered! But contrary to what one might think, it would not come to our warlike neighbors, even those who are orchestrating insecurity for over two decades and who are planning large-scale massacres through militias they arm and finance.

    The disappearance of the Kivu will not lead to the annexation of our territories by its neighbors. Simply because there will be more nothing to take. Apart from some minerals buried underground and
    that could withstand the power of fire, everything else, the population understood desperately seek refuge in the beyond.
    At the base of this apocalyptic situation everyone dreads, there methane gas sleeping so abundant into the
    Lake Kivu. Estimated at 65 billion standard cubic meters, or 50 million tonnes of oil equivalent and 300 billion normal meters of carbon dioxide, methane regenerates each year rate of 250 million standard meters with about half rest trapped in the lake.
    To prevent the risk of implosion, it is essential to exploit this gas. This is what Rwanda is already with the setting route a central production of electrical energy. Side Congo, inaction is always required while the presence of Gas represents enormous opportunities for development, industrialization and job creation in the country.
    But instead of directing investments towards this sector, Curiously attends the promotion of production of micro-projects electricity that do not allow the country to see more and
    make double hit: Electrifying all the east to avoid the disappearance of our forests, and to the population from a possible implosion in the region that would specifically methane gas housed in the lake
    Kivu.
    To enlighten its readers on this important issue, the Lighthouse met a specialist Frédéric Futu, former Officer
    leader of methane gas from Lake Kivu Project and former Director General of the state company SOCIGAZ. M.Futu participated from 1983 to 1998 virtually all meetings of the Joint Technical Commission on
    methane gas from Lake Kivu (CTMZR) and he agreed to answer our Questions centered around the failure of the Congolese in this record; the prerequisites for the operation of gas; the benefits the country can draw for its development; and Finally, the risks to the environment and population in case
    operating. Below, the answers of the expert:

    Freddy Futu: As you know, the methane gas deposit Lake Kivu is located on the border between the R.D.C and Rwanda. The mineable reserves of methane are estimated at 65 billion normal cubic meters (Nm3) or 50 million equivalent tonnes oil (toe) and 300 billion Nm3 of carbon dioxide. The methane regenerates each year at a rate of 250 million Nm3 about half of which remains trapped in the lake. Configuring this deposit was unique in the world. Other deposits known methane consist of thermal degradation of the crude oil
    (Natural cracking).
    The development of methane gas from Lake Kivu has always been among the priorities of the development policy R.D.C. (Eastern Canada) and Rwanda, for its potential benefits that involving several economic sectors would be particularly beneficial for the development of not only the R.D.C. and the Rwanda, but also the countries of the subregion.
    Because methane can be used not only as a source energy, but also as raw material for industry chemical. It should however be noted that the war situation which raged in the East for twenty years certainly affected
    negatively on the development of methane gas side project Congo while Rwanda has the opportunity to progress in the implementation of the deposit; This has widened further the gap that existed between Rwanda and the R.D.C. in the operation of methane.
    Before addressing your questions, I would like you to note, hereinafter, the peculiarity of the deposit of the Lake Kivu methane gas; feature that complicates its operation: – Due to the specific conditions of pressure and temperature, Methane gas is dissolved in the depths of Lake Kivu (in From 250 meters deep). Besides methane, Lake Kivu also full of carbon dioxide in a ratio of 1/5. The search of the method for separating the two gases under pressure, is a prerequisite to exploit the hydrocarbon. That the Rwanda apparently just developed.
    – PH (acidity) of Lake Kivu is basic surface and acid depth (difficulty in the choice of materials).
    – The size of the deposit (65 billion Nm3), relatively low on Globally, and the isolation of eastern R.D.C. (Obligation payment of tolls on exports) excludes export gas methane in the raw state.
    As for the question raised concerning the exploitation of gas methane from Lake Kivu by R.D.C., it should be noted that unlike in Rwanda who was always interested in the exploitation this hydrocarbon, including by setting up a structure responsible for the promotion and exploitation of methane gas from Lake
    Kivu “UPEGAZ” the Congolese party has almost never interested in this wealth. Admittedly, some actions were taken since late 2013 for the development of the Congolese side gas.
    Shares remained without concrete action to date, while the R.D.C. has a larger outlet for methane gas. In fact, besides the that the North and South Kivu are currently experiencing a deficit energy, methane gas can be used in automotive propulsion or in the production of nitrogen fertilizers.
    I believe that the rapid and harmonious operation of gas methane from Lake Kivu in the Congo, through better involvement the COHYDRO should invest more in development
    the deposit, so as to:
    – Identifying projects to be implemented in the short, medium and long term;
    – Negotiate partnerships with potential investors and ensure and technology transfer. To do this, the Government Congolese should allow COHYDRO of “bet” methane gas negotiations with partners in the creation of joint ventures.
    – To optimize operations and ensure maximize producing methane by concession.
    – Ensure the promotion of the deposit, without creating a new structure which would require operating costs.
    In other words, we should consider setting up a structure Autonomous responsible for the development of this gas, like in Rwanda (What about its funding).
    Today, apart from the technical aspects, in particular the development of gas extraction methods, there is no reason to industrial exploitation of this wealth. Indeed, both countries (Rwanda and R.D.C.) signed May 3, 1975 Bukavu Convention establishing a condominium of two states on this resource. The 15th April 1998, Rwanda and R.D.C. signed in Kigali Texts Regulations that set the financial terms of operating
    methane. This document allows each country co-owner of the deposit produce on its ‘soil’ methane, upon payment of the Condo fee. In other words, the owner country the deposit which operates an industrial scale, methane gas needs pay to the other a tax, called condominium fee, set at
    0.007 DTS / NM3.
    Furthermore, in order to mitigate or reduce the delay by the Congo in the exploitation of methane gas from Lake Kivu, it is for the
    R.D.C .:
    – To make every effort to revive and enjoy the SOCIGAZ methane extraction process developed by Rwanda, the through of SOCIGAZ in accordance with the texts which govern it.
    – To negotiate with Rwanda, including reliance on agreements earlier (see the different resolutions of CTMZR), to bring the Rwanda to make available the famous process, so launch operation of this hydrocarbon in the Congolese side as fast as we can.
    The two countries have every reason to exploit quickly and widely this deposit. In fact, avoid the accumulation of gas dissolved (especially carbon dioxide) reaches the threshold saturation, the risk of experiencing an implosion of Lake Kivu, which cause the death of over THREE MILLION souls.
    As for me, I remain available on the one hand, for any information complementary and secondly, to bring my contribution the development of this wealth in all its aspects.

    #26672

    Dynamics of Indigenous Peoples groups (APD) organized a round table focused on the commitments of the Democratic Republic of Congo and its partners for Indigenous Peoples: Results and Prospects. These sessions are held from 15 to 16 June 2016, Kempesky Congo River Hotel, in the commune of Gombe. Opened by the Chief of Staff of the Minister of Justice and Human Rights, Gerard Barthelemy Nkata Bayoko, this panel has several objectives, including, perform the launch of donations dedicated mechanism for indigenous peoples and local communities
    Forest Investment Program; stimulate discussion on socio-economic development through projects and field activities.

    In addition, this meeting want to lead discussions, clarification and suggestion on how to implement and
    the key requirements for the project’s success; reflections on the strategic framework for the preparation of a development program for the indigenous Pygmy peoples in DRC and discuss the Ski solutions based on lessons learned from the implementation Project work. Participants in the roundtable will also
    address other aspects from remembering and facilitating the application in the DRC of the State of commitments, including through the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Peoples indigenous and relevant resolutions arising from the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples. but also those detailed in the various pillars of the strategic framework for preparation of a development program for people Indigenous Pygmies in the DRC

    The expected results provoke hope

    In his welcome address, a representative of the Pygmies reported he was very happy to see this round table held with very capital of specifications whose resolutions will be profitable all pygmies. For his part, Patrick Saidi, Coordinator APD said that this meeting is large because, it includes several executives and representatives of indigenous different provinces to develop a roadmap for the preparation and implementation of a development program. The Representative Director of IFAD country considered that the pygmies a great role to play in terms of development, while the Country Director of the High Commissioner for Human Rights recalled the obligation and duty of all Member States of the Organization United Nations, to respect the rights of each person or group individuals. Ms. Adolphine Muleyi, Provincial Minister Agriculture, Land and Business Sustainability South Kivu expressed his joy to see that the needs and problems of
    Native is a major concern of many organizations working in Congo.

    #26674

    The mighty mountain gorilla’s. Found only in the volcanoes of Rwanda, Uganda and DRC, and very nearly extinct only a few years back. It was for this reason that I took the opportunity to visit these majestic creatures whilst in Rwanda. It was not cheap – US$500 for a permit which allows you only one hour to spend with the gorilla’s, but it is a once in a lifetime opportuniy which I felt could not be missed.
    Natalie and I booked our permits at the ORTPN office in Kigali and were lucky enough to get them for that week, some people have to wait weeks for permits. So that Friday after work we board the 5.30 bus bound for the district of Musanze in the North. Ruhengeri is the main town and we arrive close to 8pm. Its dark, and the town is still busy with hawkers and moto taxi’s. Fingers and toes are crossed that we will end up somewhere safe as we have not organised accomodation or transport. The guest house we had in mind didn’t answer the phone, and everything we read said there was no public transport to get there. So we are pleased to see dozens of competitive moto drivers. We eventually manage to barter a couple of fare’s of 2000RWF (about $3), and soon we’re racing up the mountain, freezing, on the back of the motorbikes with our packs on our back. We end up 12km away in the small town of Kinigi, and the moto drivers wait while we check availability. We also get their phone numbers in case we find ourselves in the middle of nowhere without transport over the weekend! We breathe a sigh of relief when we get handed the key for a room in Kinigi Guest House and we wave our drivers off with thanks. Kinigi Guest House is a quiet Alpine style lodge set at the base of the volcanoes. The alpine feel of the place is only enhanced by the climate. Its freezing! Natalie discovers that the showers are cold, and later on, the water stops altogether so that the toilets don’t flush, and they slowly start to full up. Lovely. This is Africa! We take refuge in the bar with a beer by the warm fire.

    At 7am on Saturday 19th March we set off for the ORTPN headquarters in a 4WD we managed to hire last night. We met 3 others in the bar who end up sharing the jeep with us and share the cost which helps! Our guide Fidel informs us we are to visit the Bwenge group which consists of 10 gorilla’s. There is only one silverback which is the head of the group. Silverbacks are males over 12 years of age, and some groups have more than one, which means they will have to fight for the dominant position. Sometimes less dominant males will break off and start their own group. Blackbacks are males between ages 8-12, which there are none of in our group. However, we have a Tanzanian male trekking with us, so he becomes our ‘blackback’, along with 2 greying men in their 60’s who become our ‘silverbacks’ – all in good humour of course!. 5 females and 4 babies make up the rest of our gorilla group. The life expectancy of the gorilla’s is about 45 years and the males will grow to well over 200kg, with the females about 150-200kg. It was only a couple of years ago that the worldwide population was below 100 due to poaching, but due to the conservation – helped along by income from park permits – the population is now about 400.

    We drive along rocky roads to the base of the volcanoe to begin our trek. The first hour is a steep incline through small mountain villages and land cultivated with potatoe and pyrethrum plants. Men and women working in the fields look up and wave as we pass. The tiny grass huts are deserted as everybody is out working. Eventually we reach the park boundary which is a tall rock wall spanning 75 km from Uganda to DRC. We are met by 2 more guides, one with a machete and one with a gun, before we scale the wall and land in dense jungle. There is a bit of a track punctuated by piles of fresh shit – we can thank the buffalo for clearing the path this morning, but we still need the help of the machete to clear the way. It is the rainy season so the thich, black, fertile soil is moist and we are in well past our ankles trekking through. The gardening gloves come in handy as we push through hanging vines, climb over fallen trees and look out for the stinging nettles.

    Some trekkers had set out early this morning to find the group and Fidel keeps in touch with them by radio. An hour later, at an altitude of 2900m, we meet them and are told the gorilla’s are nearby. Sure enough we round a tree trunk and a 150kg female is staring at us about 5 metres away chewing happily on a piece of bamboo. Hushed exclamations resound from all of us before we become silently spellbound. The brief acknowledgement the gorilla initially awarded us passes and she takes no further notice of us, instead concentrating on eating. She is completely unfazed by us being so close. Its mesmerizing watching her eat, delicately striping the branch with her teeth and fingers before eating the juicy flesh. She effortlessly tears off branch after branch with an easy strength.
    The silverback is around the corner so we head off to meet him, and are pleased to find 2 of the babies are with him. He is about 4 metres away and pays us only marginally more attention than the female – glancing up occasionally to check we are not too close to the babies. One baby of 2 years is very shy and stays close to her papa. The other one is clearly enthralled with us, and comes closer to have a look before jumping to a low branch and performing. This one is about 14 months old and plays for ages swinging and jumping from branch to branch. Unfortunately the papa eventually calls her away and they head off to find shelter – apparently the rain is coming. The head trekker heads off slowly behind them with us following – he did not see an adult female hiding in the bushes and she jumps out and barks at him as we pass. It scares us out of our spell! Up ahead we watch a couple of females climbing a tree. They sleep in trees and we wonder how they manage with their size – clearly it doesnt always work as we soon hear a huge crash as one tumbles through the branches. We find the rest of the family under the canopy of a huge tree minutes before the rain pours down – they all knew the rain was coming a good 5 minutes before it did! All too soon our hour comes to an end and we head back down the mountain. Back at the lodge we change out of our soaking clothes and enjoy a bowl of hot soup to warm our bones whilst reminiscing about the day and sharing photo’s. We retire early, exhausted, and with memories that will last a lifetime.

    The following day we phone our moto drivers and have them take us to a local cultural village. This is an ecotourism project that was started about 2 years ago to help the villagers, all proceeds go directly to the people. We find out later by talking to a Canadian woman working with the people that the founder is withdrawing his support as he has been subsidising their salaries and can no longer afford it. The villagers will soon be on their own, and hopefully they now have the knowldge to continue this venture and improve profitability. God knows they need it. It is fantastically run, and the enthusiasm and smiles on the faces of villagers show us that they love it. We dress in traditional royal costume and sit on the threshold of the large grass ‘kings’ hut, whilst watching the Intore warriors dance to the beat of the drums. The Intore wear head pieces of bark product which looks like long blond hair. They wear skirts and have bells around their ankles and carry spears and shields. The dancing is fast and rhythmical with grandiose head gestures whipping their hair into a blonde arc. I wonder if they’re meant to look threatening. They don’t today with their warm, wide smiles, and later we share the contagious smile and laughter as we dance alongside them.

    One of the more entertaining villagers is a tiny middleaged man who comes from Rwanda’s minority tribe of Batwa Pigmy. These people originated from high in the jungle and are known for their hunting ability which he proves to us with some bow and arrow target practice. Perfect score! Me? I managed to get one target after about 10 attempts! Much easier to go to the butchery section at the supermarket right? Of course, that is not an option for the villagers of Rwanda even today. Take bread for example. OK sure, some people make their own bread back home, but how many people grow the maise, dry it, grind it, and THEN make the bread? They do here. Another product they use is a seed called soghrum which they use for bread and porridge and we try our hand at grinding it between 2 smooth rocks – not too hard in isolation, but a hell of a process for bread! We also meet the traditional healer who shows us some potions for stomach complaints, nettle stings, respiratory complaints and, more amusingly, ‘man power’, which is demonstrated by the strategic placement of a large stick. The traditional healers are still very much used, and I have to admit, some of it really works and adapted forms of it are even used in Western medicine. Its upsetting however when HIV and cancers are ineffectively ‘treated’ by the healers , but more upsetting is that they actually dont have any other oprions of treatment. The morning is finished with a concert of dancers and drummers performing for us, before we again leap up to have a go on the drums and dance with the women. Ill have to be satisfied that I will NEVER be able to shake my ass like these locals can!!

    #26676

    I left their camp touched by their singing, their dances, but above all, I left feeling a sense of urgency; these forgotten people of North Kivu will have to see better days. I turned towards my colleague, Joseph, and in broken French I asked him how soon we could provide them with what they had asked for. Their request was minimal: all they asked for were blankets and kitchen pots.

    We went back to our car and on the way back to our camp in Rumangabo I started to think. They tell me that pygmies were the first inhabitants of this land, but now they live in improvised tents, without access to social services, making a meager living through sporadic day jobs here and there. The roofs of their tents can’t stop the rain from pouring inside and nights get pretty chilly around here.

    The wars and political instability of the past few decades have put these people at the bottom of the priority list. Frankfurt Zoological Society has identified about 1,250 Batwa pygmies who currently live around the Mikeno sector in Virunga. This area of the park is important because that’s where the mountain gorillas live. These displaced communities illegally occupy the land on which they live. As part of The Forgotten Parks initiative, Frankfurt Zoological Society has already acquired land for these people. With funding from the World Bank, we will build houses with and for the Batwa Pygmy community, as well as health posts and schools; these facilities will serve both the Batwa Pygmy community as well as the Bantu (non-pygmy Congolese).

    We already support Pygmy children with the provision of school equipment and uniforms. Their teachers tell us they are doing well in school. More important than offering these people the means to get by and make it to the next day, is to give them access to equal social and economic opportunities so they can pull themselves out of the extreme poverty they are living currently in.

    Frankfurt Zoological Society is working with the Batwa Pygmies and several Pygmy NGO’s to help Pygmies find their new position in the Congolese mainstream society, allowing them to fit in, while also being sensitive to cultural differences. We will provide them with training in agriculture, apiculture, and small-rearing. We are currently working with partner Pygmy NGOs to ensure that our program is effective and relevant to the needs of the Pygmy community. In a year’s time we will provide them with a brand new cultural centre, where their folklore, traditions, dances and songs will be preserved and promoted.  We are hoping to be able to bring tourists to the new Pygmy village, where they will be able to experience first hand an ancient culture. This will generate revenue to the community, and perhaps even more importantly, boost their morale and their sense of self-value as a distinct ethnic group in the DRC.

    Fostering healthy communities can only benefit Virunga and its amazing wildlife; decreasing forest dependency will help towards the protection and conservation of the park. This initiative reflects FZS’ comprehensive approach to nature conservation; it is as much about people as it is about wildlife.

    #26678

    They work hard, members of the International Support Group Facilitation Dialogue. After meeting Thursday, August 4, Etienne Tshisekedi, President of the Committee of Wise Men of the Rally of Forces Political and Social Change acquired, they were, Friday, August 5, at the headquarters of the African Union in Kinshasa to discuss with leaders G7. The meeting allowed this political platform to reaffirm, without hesitation, pre installed so far, the Rally of the Opposition. The G7 stressed particularly on the termination of judicial red tape and easing the political climate. Allusion, as expected, the release of political prisoners and called especially to judicial untangled brackish judged against Katumbi, displayed its candidate for running in the next presidential DR. Congo. Although other pre recovered on the long list of requirements gathering, were recalled Support Group urges the G7, moreover, to play its role to the end, to get the majority in power, conditions for the early holding of the dialogue. Thereupon, the G7 requires strong signals in terms of acts likely to defuse the political crisis whose premises, already visible on the political agora, may atomize of both the dialogue and elections.

    8 prior to solve

    The G7 has given the International Support Group’s mission to obtain the Kinshasa Government, strong positive signals about 8 unresolved prerequisites. There are, among others, the unconditional release of political prisoners or detainees, the cessation of judicial red tape, tax, administrative or police against opponents including against Moses Katumbi, declared candidate for the next presidential election.

    G7 requirements also cover the liberalization of democratic space. Specifically, freedom of expression and the guarantee of security for public events of the Opposition and the resolving shutdown of opposition political parties. On the Facilitation, the G7 called for the transformation of the Support Group Facilitators Panel. This requires the designation of another facilitator. There is, then, the US application integration in the facilitation process. Against a backdrop of the release of the public media and the reopening of closed media close to the opposition.

    Unity view

    Between the G7 and the Rally, there emerges a never observed for unity, at least since the beginning of the current crisis in the political microcosm rd-Congolese. Since Genval Conclave in June 2016, opponents have learned to speak with one voice. Hope it lasts. The unity of the Opposition was more evident on 27 July at the homecoming of Etienne Tshisekedi, after a prolonged stay of two years in Brussels. The successful meeting of 31 July, near the Triumphal Boulevard, helped seal the unit found in the Congolese opposition.

    Kodjo always challenged

    Kodjo the case, the Facilitator contested by the opposition, was discussed during the meeting of the G7 with the International Support Group. Sharing fully the position of the Rally, which he is also part, the G7 openly campaigned for the appointment of another international Facilitator. Like what, for Congolese opponents, Edem Kodjo already belong to history.

    The ball in the camp of the Government

    Pre G7 attribute the blocking of dialogue with the government party long in giving strong signals in line to relax the political atmosphere. In other words, the majority in power is unwilling to adhere to the 2277 Resolution of the UN Security Council. Until when are we going to play cat and mouse?

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