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Country profile for Democratic Republic Of Congo

Provided Courtesy of Security Exchange 24

Risk Rating

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Red (High Risk) InTouch advice:

Most parts of the country are dangerous.

Do not travel unless absolutely necessary.

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Amber (Moderate Risk) InTouch advice:

Some parts of the country are dangerous.

Travel with caution.

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Green (Low Risk) InTouch advice:

Most parts of the country are safe.

Travel freely.

General Information

  • Capital: Kinshasa
  • Major Languages: French
  • Currency: Congolese Franc
  • Timezone: GMT +1:00 to +2:00

Country Map

Map of Democratic Republic Of Congo

There has been increasing political unrest in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) over President Joseph Kabila's failure to step down at the end of his two-term mandate, which expired in December 2016.  The lack of change sparked widespread anti-government protests across the country, leading to clashes with the security forces during which dozens of people were killed.  An agreement was made between the government and the opposition in late December for elections to be held before the end of 2017; however, further politically-motivated violence and civil unrest should be expected whether the elections are held or not. Following the last vote in 2011, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said that the DRC security forces killed at least 24 people during election violence, most of which took place in Kinshasa.

The United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), the largest peacekeeping force in the world, has almost 20,000 troops deployed in the country. The UN Security Council has renewed the mission’s mandate until the end of March, 2017. The MONUSCO forces are concentrated in eastern DRC and tasked with the consolidation of state authority and the protection of civilians. A number of rebel groups operate in and around the north-east of the country, including the Ugandan Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), the Mai-Mai militia and the Democratic Liberation Forces of Rwanda (FDLR). In August 2016, suspected Ugandan rebels from the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) killed at least 36 people in a village 5km from Beni, in the north-east of the country. The Mai-Mai militia also carried out attacks during August, resulting in the deaths of at least 20 civilians. In February 2017 clashes between the Kamuina Nsapu militia and DRC security forces within the area of Tshimbulu in central DRC left between 30 and 50 people dead.  In recent years there have been increasing allegations of abuse by members of its peacekeeping forces, and in March 2016 the Security Council adopted a resolution to curb sexual abuse by UN troops.

The March 23 Movement (M23), another rebel military group, formed in April, 2012 after approximately 300 soldiers mutinied against the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (FARDC). The M23 were involved in a conflict with the FARDC and MONUSCO troops in the eastern region of North Kivu until a temporary ceasefire was reached in March, 2013. Much of the fighting took place around the town of Goma, close to the border with Rwanda, and more than 200,000 people were displaced. In November, 2013 the leader of the M23, Sultani Makenga, surrendered in the Mgahinga National Park in neighbouring Uganda.  Many of the former M23 rebels are currently housed at demob camps, including in Kamina in the south-east of the country.  In June, 2016 several people died in clashes between government soldiers and former rebels at the Kamina camp, where there have also been reports of starvation and widespread disease.

A mixture of high unemployment and easy access to weapons have contributed to the high levels of crime in the DRC. Foreigners have been targeted by armed criminals, especially in central Kinshasa, and robberies are reported to be increasingly aggressive. The risk is elevated significantly after dark; as a consequence, visitors should refrain from walking around at night. There have also been reports of increasingly violent attacks on foreign nationals in Goma in the restive province of North Kivu. There is also a moderate threat of kidnapping in DRC and foreign nationals have been targeted in recent years. In May, 2016 three members of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) were kidnapped by suspected FDLR rebels near the town of Kyaghala. They were released a few days later. On August 17, 2016, three aid workers from the Catholic charity Caritas were kidnapped by suspected FDLR militants after their convoy was ambushed in Misinga, outside of Goma. The three kidnapped workers were Congolese nationals working for the aid group, and an additional person was shot and wounded in the attack.


News articles

By UN News

Journalist killed in Democratic Republic of Congo

The head of the United Nations body mandated to defend freedom of expression and press freedom called today for an investigation into the killing of a journalist in the Democratic Republic of the Congo on 16 April.

By AFP

Journalist shot dead in eastern Congo

A journalist for state media in the Democratic Republic of Congo was shot dead Friday in Goma in the vast country's restive east, officials said.

By Associated Press via Washington Post

Journalist killed in eastern Congo ambush

Colleagues say a journalist covering military operations in eastern Congo has been killed in an ambush.

View all articles for Democratic Republic Of Congo

Alerts for Democratic Republic Of Congo

Two UN officials kidnapped in DRC

Two UN officials have been kidnapped in southern DR Congo.  A US national, Michael Sharp, and a Swedish woman, Zaida Catalan, were kidnapped by unknown assailants in the Kasai Central province on Sunday.  A government spokesman said the pair had "fallen into the hands of negative forces not yet identified," along with four Congolese support staff.

Five mine workers kidnapped in eastern DRC

Gunmen have kidnapped five workers from a gold mine in eastern DR Congo.  Banro Corporation Spokesman Crispin Mutwedu said a local militia raided the site in Namoya on Wednesday morning and abducted a French national, a Tanzanian and three Congolese.  Last month three police officers and one assailant were killed in an attack on another Banro mine in South Kivu.

Civilians killed in eastern DRC

The Mai-Mai Mazembe militia have killed 25 civilians in the restive North Kivu province.  A representative of the local governor said the attack took place around the village of Kyaghala on Saturday.  All of the victims were Hutus, and local activists said the killings will ignite further inter-ethnic violence in the region.

Government says elections too expensive

The DR Congo government says it will not be able to afford the presidential elections scheduled for later this year.  Budget Minister Pierre Kangudia said the poll would cost $1.8bn, which the government cannot afford.  President Joseph Kabila's final mandate expired in November 2016, and his refusal to step down sparked a political crisis and a wave of anti-government protests.  In December a deal was agreed between the government and the opposition that new elections would be held before the end of 2017.

Police open fire on sect members in Kinshasa

DR Congo police have fired live rounds and tear gas at supporters of a separatist religious sect in Kinshasa.  The unrest occurred outside the home of Ne Muanda Nsemi, the leader of the Bundu dia Kongo (BDK) sect, in Ma Campagne district on Tuesday morning.  There was no immediate confirmation of casualties, although the UN said at least 100 people had been killed.  UN spokeswoman Liz Throssell said they were deeply concerned by the "disproportionate use of force".

Nearly a dozen killed during clashes in Tshimbulu

Nearly a dozen people have been killed during fierce clashes in central Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on Monday. A local activist told Reuters that the confrontation near Tshimbulu was generated over grievances between DRC troops and a militia group. The incident comes days after more than 60 militia members were killed in clashes in the same region. Thousands have already been displaced amid the ongoing long-standing conflict over land, resources and ethnic issues.

Three police officers killed in mine attack in eastern DRC

Three police officers have been killed in an attack on the Banro Corp's Twangiza gold mine in eastern DR Congo.  In a statement the company said heavily armed men targeted the site on Tuesday, leading to clashes with police.  One assailant also died during the incident.

Travellers complain over lack of safety in crossing Lake Tanganyika

Burundi travellers to Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) raised concerns over maritime safety on boats to cross the Lake Tanganyika. The main complaint regards the poor conditions of the vessels and the lack of safety features, such as life jackets. The situation is enhanced by strong winds that highly affect overcrowded boats, especially off Rumonge port in south-eastern Burundi which allegedly has no rescue services. Residents from Rumonge often use the service to trade, visit relatives or farm in the DRC.

Dozens of M23 rebels seek refuge in Rwanda over army crackdown

Thirty members of the Congolese militia group March 23 Movement (M23) reportedly fled to Rwanda claiming to be prosecuted by the government's army - FARDC. Rwanda's defense minister stated that all M23 members were unarmed when they were apprehended in Rubavu district on Sunday. The M23 is composed mostly of Tutsi ethnics who were defeated in 2012 following a failed peace agreement signed in 2009.

Police fire tear gas at Kinshasa protest

Police have fired tear gas at a rally in DR Congo's capital, Kinshasa.  More than 100 people gathered on Wednesday to mourn the death of opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi from the Union for Democracy and Social Progress party (UDPS).  He travelled to Belgium last week for medical treatment and had been due to head a transitional council as part of a deal with President Joseph Kabila, who has agreed to step down this year.

Security forces arrest former M23 rebels

Ugandan security forces have detained more than 100 former M23 rebels near the DR Congo border.  "The Uganda Security intercepted four vehicles at Mbarara that were carrying 101 former M23 combatants who were travelling on their way to Democratic Republic of Congo," spokesman Ofwono Opondo said in a statement.  The suspects fled a military camp where they had been awaiting amnesty since 2013.  "Uganda will not and does not support any armed activities to destabilise the Democratic Republic of Congo," Opondo said on Thursday.

Ethnic clashes leave 15 dead in DR Congo

At least 15 people have been killed in ethnic clashes in south-eastern DR Congo.  "Clashes between Bantus and Pygmies in the village of Piana Mwanga have left 15 Bantus dead, 37 injured and 65 houses burned," Paul Kwanga, bishop of the south-eastern town of Manono, told AFP.  In recent years there have been multiple deadly clashes between the Pygmies and Bantus from the ethnic Luba group in the region.

Political transition deal agreed in DRC

An agreement has been reached between the government and the opposition that will see President Joseph Kabila step down after elections in 2017.  "We have reached agreement on all points," said Marcel Utembi, the bishop who chairs the Episcopal Conference (CENCO) overseeing the talks.  The deal was agreed on Saturday following protracted talks between the two sides, which coincided with a series of anti-government protests, during which at least 40 people were killed and hundreds more arrested.

Floods kill 50 in DR Congo

At least 50 people have been killed and thousands more displaced in flooding in south-western DR Congo. Jacques Mbadu, governor of Kongo Central province, said the flood waters were two metres above normal levels after the Kalamu river burst its banks.  "This is a cyclical phenomenon which happens every 10 years. It last happened in January 2015, but with climate change it's now happened again in December 2016," said Mbadu.

Deadly attacks leave 22 dead in North Kivu

At least 22 civilians have been killed in a series of attacks in DR Congo's North Kivu province.  "Yesterday, they killed 10 civilians. Twelve other bodies were found [on Sunday] in the surrounding villages," regional official Amisi Kalonda told the AFP.  The Ugandan rebel group, the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), have been accused by officials of carrying out the attacks.

Police fire tear gas at protesters in Kinshasa

Police in DR Congo have fired tear gas to disperse protesters in the capital, Kinshasa.  Hundreds of anti-Kabila demonstrators in Kalamu, Matete and Lingwala districts blew whistles to signify that it was time for President Joseph Kabila to stand down.  "I launch a solemn appeal to the Congolese people to not recognise the...illegal and illegitimate authority of Joseph Kabila and to peacefully resist (his) coup d'etat," said opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi.  Kabila's second-term mandate expires at midnight.  The UN's human rights director for the country, Jose Maria Aranaz, said they were investigating reports that 20 civilians had been killed in clashes with security forces in the capital.

South African peacekeeper killed in eastern DRC

A South African peacekeeper, a police officer and five suspected rebels have been killed in clashes in eastern DR Congo.  According to the South African military rebels carried out an attack on a prison in the city of Butembo in North Kivu on Tuesday. "At around 6 am (04:00 GMT), the assailants, who were likely Mai-Mai fighters, launched an attack against the prison and other places,” said the spokesman for the UN’s MONUSCO peacekeeping force, Felix-Prosper Basse.

Tensions rise in DRC as Kabila's mandate expires

Hundreds of people have gathered in DR Congo's capital, Kinshasa, despite a ban on political protests in the country.  Security forces have been deployed across the city after talks between President Joseph Kabila and the opposition were suspended over the weekend.  Kabila's second term mandate is due to expire on Tuesday; however, no elections are currently scheduled and he appears determined to stay in office, despite increasing pressure for him to step down.

Twenty terror suspects arrested, North-Kivu

Approximately 20 terror suspects have been arrested by the Upper Military Prosecutor in connection to terror attacks which killed 30 people in Luhanga, North-Kivu. The terror attacks in Luhanga had been attributed to the Mai-Mai militiamen militant group, however it remains unclear how many of the 20 detainess have direct links to the militant group.

Three killed as insurgents clash with FARDC, Vitshumbi

Three people have been killed in recent clashes between the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC) and insurgent groups. The insurgents had attempted to take control of the Vitshumbi locality and are believed to have been associated with the Mai-Mai militia. Of the three killed, two were civilians and one was a Mai-Mai militia insurgent. Civilians have been advised to avoid areas dominated by conflict.

Four militiamen killed in DRC clashes

Four members of a militia were killed in clashes with the DR Congo security forces over the weekend.  Supporters of traditional ruler Kamwina Nsapu clashed with police in Tshikapa in the central province Kasai.  Nsapu was killed by the security forces last August, while in late September his militia briefly seized control of Kananga airport.

Mai-Mai militia attacks Hutu village in North Kivu

At least 34 people have been killed in an attack on a Hutu village in eastern DR Congo.  A suspected Mai-Mai Mazembe militia carried out the raid on the village of Luhanga in North Kivu on Sunday.  “They started attacking the position of the FARDC (Congolese army). While they were attacking the FARDC, another group carried out the killing or shooting the population”, said local administrator Joy Bokele.

Fresh Pygmy-Bantu clashes erupt in Kalemie

Another outbreak of deadly clashes has been reported between the Pygmy and Bantu people in south-eastern DR Congo.  Provincial governor Richard Ngoyi Kitamala has appealed for calm in Muswaki, but denied reports that there have been killings. "The situation is not as alarming as many would like to believe," Kitamala said.  Earlier this week a spokesman for the UN mission MONUSCO said they had received reports that 30 people had been killed in an attack by Pygmies on a Kalemie-bound train.

Three people kidnapped in Limete

Three people have been kidnapped from the Limete suburb of Kinshasa, according to reports.  The trio's relatives said they were abducted last Friday by people in civilian clothes.  Last week the Voice of the Voiceless activist group said a hundred opposition supporters had been abducted by DR Congo soldiers, including members of the Republic Guard, in the town of Mont Ngafula.

Opposition leader named new PM

Opposition leader Samy Badibanga has been named as DR Congo's new prime minister.  The appointment was made on Thursday as part of a power-sharing agreement signed with the government.  Earlier this week Augustin Matata resigned to make way for Badibanga.

Journalist shot dead in Mbuji-Mayi

A Congolese journalist has been shot dead at his home in Mbuji-Mayi in the central Kasai-Oriental province.  “We condemn the death of Marcel Lubala of RTNC (Congolese National Radio and Television) who was struck down on Monday night as he slept peacefully with his family,” said UNPC president Joseph Boucard Kasonga Tshilunde.  A curfew has been in place in Mbuji-Mayi since police clashed with supporters of a local chief in September.

Five killed in South Kivu ambush

Five people were killed in an ambush on a regional minister's convoy in South Kivu on Sunday.  "Five people were killed in the attack against the convoy of provincial interior minister Etshiba Mboko," said Agnes Sadiki, the eastern region's transport minister and government spokeswoman.  The minister was unharmed but two of his bodyguards and three civilians died in the ambush.  The identity or motive of the assailants has not been established.

Prime Minister Ponyo resigns

DR Congo's prime minister, Augustin Matata Ponyo, has resigned as part of an ongoing peace agreement with the opposition.  The national dialogue framework agreement was signed in October and Ponyo's resignation paves the way for an opposition candidate to take his place.  “I have offered my resignation as well as those of the members of my government… to respond to the spirit and the letter of the accord,” said Matata.

Grenade blast kills two in Goma

A UN peacekeeper and an eight-year-old girl have been killed on a grenade explosion in the eastern city of Goma.  A further 31 peacekeepers - all Indian nationals - and three civilians were also wounded in the blast, which occurred on Tuesday morning.  "The staff is very busy gathering information about this incident," said Sylvestre Kilolo, a spokesman for Congo's UN mission, MONUSCO.  More than 20,000 troops are deployed in DR Congo as part of the MONUSCO mission.

Tear gas fired at opposition supporters in Kinshasa

Police in the DR Congo fired tear gas to prevent an opposition rally in the capital, Kinshasa, on Saturday.  Around 60 people had gathered outside the house of opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi before police intervened.  At least one person was wounded and two others arrested in the latest in a series of clashes in the capital.  The opposition claim President Joseph Kabila is using the electoral system to stay in power beyond his constitutional limits.

Bodies of slain activists displayed in Kinshasa

The bodies of six opposition activists killed during violent protests in September were on public display in the capital, Kinshasa, on Monday.  Their remains were displayed at the headquarters of the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS), the party of opposition leader, Etienne Tshisekedi.  They were then buried in Limete at a service attended by around 2,000 people, many of whom carried UDPS flags.  The opposition  claims that they were killed by soldiers during anti-government protests.  "We are going to bury the bodies that his government has killed, this is all that we can say” said Secretary General UDPS, Jean Marc Kabund.

Six killed in North Kivu attacks

Six people have been killed in an attack by suspected Ugandan rebels in the Beni region of North Kivu in eastern DR Congo.  Local administrator Kalonda Amisi said the victims, all civilians, were killed during clashes between Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels and the Congolese armed forces near the Kitevya health centre. Around 700 people have been killed in attacks in the troubled region since October, 2014.

Rwandan rebel commander arrested in DRC

A suspected commander of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) militant group has been arrested by police in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).  Habyarimana Mucebo, who is accused of involvement in the Rwandan genocide in 1994, was arrested in Rutshuru in North Kivu province.  Congolese officials said he has been arrested for atrocities carried out by the FDLR in DRC.

Police arrest 17 for election protests

Police in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have arrested 17 people this week for protesting against the postponement of the country's presidential elections.  Eight members of the activist group Struggle for Change (Lucha) were arrested in Goma on Wednesday, while nine other Lucha members were detained on Monday and Tuesday in the city.  The UN said it was concerned about the crackdown on democracy activists in the country.  "We are very worried about the hardening of repression against civil society activities," Jose Maria Aranaz, director of the UN Joint Human Rights Office in Congo told Reuters.

Opposition calls for strike over vote delay

The main opposition party in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has called for a nationwide general strike on Wednesday over the decision to delay the presidential election until April, 2018.  President Joseph Kabila's final term is due to end in December, but the new deal gives him more than an extra year in office.  The secretary-general of the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS) said the move "unilaterally imposes Mr Kabila in flagrant violation of the constitution which sets the end of his mandate at December 20".

Soldiers launch offensive on Mai Mai militiamen in Mambasa

On 16 October, the Congolese military launched an offensive on the headquarters of the Mai Mai militia in the Mambasa territory, leading to an exchange of fire in which six people were killed. Four of those killed are believed to be militiamen. Weapons and ammunition were reportedly seized during the operation. The offensive was launched when the army received information that the militia was preparing to attack civilians in the territory. 

Twenty dead in Katanga clashes

At least 20 people have been killed in three days of ethnic clashes in DR Congo's southern Katanga province.  Local MP Kalunga Mawazo said four Pygmies and 16 members of the Luba people died in violence between Sunday and Tuesday.  The fighting was sparked by a tax dispute over the caterpillar harvest, which is normally paid by the Pygmies for the local food staple.  “Tension is high in Kabalo, we sent a team there and reinforcements to restore order,” the Governor of Tanganyika, Ngoy Kitangala, told AFP

Wanted warlord turns himself in after five years

On 12 October, the leader of regional separatist group Bakata Katanga and a wanted warlord, Gedeon Kyungu, surrendered himself to authorities following a fight with 100 of his fighters in Malambwe. He was serving a sentence in prison for crimes against humanity before he escaped five years ago. He has been wanted by the Congolese government ever since. It is not yet known why he surrendered to the authorities or what will now happen to him.

Ten killed in clashes between Congolese army and suspected Ugandan rebels

On 10 October, Ugandan militants, suspected to be members of the Allied Democratic Froces (ADF), attacked Beni in northeastern Democractic Republic of Congo (DRC). Resultant clashes with the armed forces of the DRC resulted in the deaths of eight civilians, one Congolese soldier and one Ugandan militant.

UN peacekeeping mission in DRC given deadline for removal of South Sudan fighters

The United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has been given a week to fly hundreds of South Sudanese fighters out of the country. The fighters are loyal to ousted Vice President Riek Machar and crossed into the DRC with him following intense violence in the South Sudan capital of Juba. The 750 men have been disarmed and cared for by the UN mission, but Congolese authorities have declared them as a security risk. They are being housed in UN camps near Goma, North Kivu province. Residents fear a repeat of the fallout of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, where perpetrators of the massacres set up base in North Kivu. They also fear that the South Sudanese government may carry out a "right of pursuit" across the border, exposing them to fresh conflict. 

US sanctions allies of President Kabila

On 29 September, the United States (US) imposed sanctions on General Gabriel Amisi Kumba of the army and John Numba, an ex-police chief. Both men are close allies of incumbent president Joseph Kabila. The US has accused them of threatening the country's stability by suppressing the opposition and has frozen their assets in the US. 

Deadly clashes in Kananga leave 13 dead

At least 13 people died in clashes between militia fighters and the DR Congo security forces late last week.  The fighting began on Thursday morning in the southern city of Kananga when fighters loyal to a traditional chief, who was killed by police last month, engaged in a gunbattle with troops.  On Friday fighters attacked the city's airport, killing a civilian worker.  "The situation is under our control. The airport has been under the control of our forces since this afternoon," said government spokesman Lambert Mende.

Suspected ADF rebels kill seven in North Kivu

At least seven civilians were killed overnight in a town near Beni, North Kivu province, by suspected Ugandan rebels. Five people are missing and more than 15 houses were burnt by the attackers, believed to be militants from the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF). The attack comes weeks after the death of over a hundred civilians at the hands of ADF rebels in the same area. 

Death toll hits 44 during anti-Kabila protests

On 21 September, the death toll for those killed during anti-Kabila protests rose to 44 people, six of whom are police officers and 37 civilians. The unrest began on Monday when the DCR's electoral commission attempted to postpone the next presidential election, which was due to take place in November, 2016. This was viewed by many as an unconstitutional attempt to keep incumbent president Kabila in power. 

Two killed as opposition headquarters torched in Kinshasa

On 20 September, armed men set fire to the headquarters of three opposition parties in Kinshasa, with two people being found dead at the office of the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UPDS) party, the main opposition in the country. The attackers reportedly burst into the office in the Limete neighbourhood at approximately 02:00 GMT and threw petrol in before setting it ablaze. Initial reports stated that three people had been killed, but one person was found to be alive, although severely burnt.  

Deadly clashes reported at protests in Kinshasa

Protests calling for incumbent president, Joseph Kabila, to step down have turned violent in Kinshasa, with deadly clashes between protesters and police being reported in the city.  According to the AFP 17 police officers and 14 protesters have been killed so far in the violence, while dozens more have been wounded. The presidential guard have also been deployed to the capital and further violence is expected.

Six NRC agents kidnapped in North Kivu; $1,000 ransom demanded

On 5 September, six Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) agents were kidnapped by suspected Nyatura militiamen in Masisi, North Kivu. They were abducted whilst travelling to the site of a humanitarian mission in Kalembe. The kidnappers have issued a ransom demand of $1,000 in exchange for their release. 

Two killed in clashes between FARDC and militia group in Walikale

Two civilians were reported dead during a confrontation between Mai-Mai Mazembe militias and soldiers of the Armed forces of the DRC (FARDC) on Sunday. The clashes took place across several villages of Walikale, eastern part of the country. According to local sources, Mai-Mai Mazembe militants attacked FARDC positions between Walikale and Lubero. The group set camps on fire, causing the displacement of several local residents. The FARDC reinforced their presence in the area on Monday, while the local administrators claimed the situation was brought under control.

Scores wounded in violent protest in Kwilu

At least 20 police officers have been injured during a protest in Kwilu province, eastern DRC. The demonstration included hundreds of local residents of Bulungu, who demanded the establishment of a local commune in the town. The violence escalated when the police fired warning shots to disperse the population, who they alleged were holding an unauthorised protest. Protesters responded by throwing stones and setting government buildings on fire. The discontent was triggered by a 2012 territorial administration law that modified the status of towns, cities and rural communes.

Twelve people arrested after clashes between opposition members in Kinshasa

On 1 September, clashes broke out between approximately 100 supporters of rival opposition parties at the headquarters of the Union pour le Nation Congolaise (UNC) and ATD in the districts of Lemba, Limete and Kasavuba in Kinshasa. Opposition supporters threw rocks and set tyres on fireoutside the headquarters. They were allegedly protesting against the party leaders' willingness to take part in new talks regarding the delayed presidential election. At least 12 of the protesters were arrested, and police fired teargas to disperse the crowd. 

North Kivu militias sign peace deal in Muhanga

Two local militant groups of the North Kivu region signed a peace agreement in Muhanga, eastern DRC, on Wednesday. Reports by local authorities stated that the deal between the Alliance of Patriots for a Free and Sovereign Congo (APCLS) and Mai-Mai Nyatura rebels will be monitored and mediated by the police and security forces. The agreement is set to end the kidnapping of humanitarian aid workers and also halt the roadblocks restricting the free movement of people and goods in the region. The APCLS and the Mai-Mai Nyature militias stated that they are willing to hand over their weapons to the Armed Forces of DRC (FARDC), once security guarantees are settled.

UN envoy condemns detention of opposition members in central DRC

The arrest of 32 opposition members of the 'dead city' strike, led by the government's main opposition, was publicly condemned by the United Nations. The director of the Joint United Nations Office for Human Rights in DRC, Jose Maria Aranaz, stated on Wednesday that the unlawful arrests carried out by the National Intelligence Agency (ANR) in Kinshasa and Mbuji-Mayi were arbitrary. The 'dead city' strike was called to protest against the African Union facilitator for the national political dialogue, ahead of the July 2017 elections. The move was triggered when the talks were boycotted by the opposition over claims that the government plans to delay the elections.

Two killed after ADF raid in North Kivu

Two people have been killed during a raid carried out by alleged militants from the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) in North Kivu region. The incursion took place in the Kithevya and Makulu villages in Beni state on Tuesday. Local sources confirmed the casualties and stated that dozens of houses were burned down during the attack. Authorities believe that the attackers were the same that nearly 10 days ago assassinated over 36 people in the village of Rwangoma.

Opposition calls for nation-wide general strike on 23 August

The political opposition in the Democratic Republic of Congo has called for a nation-wide general strike, known as a "ville-morte," on 23 August. Travellers should avoid large public gatherings and demonstrations, remain vigilant and should follow local security advice, as protests can escalate without warning and become violent. 

Hundreds protest over insecurity in eastern DRC

Hundreds of protesters stormed the streets of Beni, eastern DRC, to demonstrate over the insecurity in the region. The demonstrators were gathered for the last mourning day for the 51 civilians killed on Saturday by Ugandan rebels of the Democratic Allied Forces (ADF). According to the AFP, six demonstrators were arrested and taken to an undisclosed location. The UN mission in DRC (MONUSCO) blames ADF rebels for the indiscriminate killings in the region, where nearly 650 people have been killed since October, 2014.

Three humanitarian workers kidnapped near Goma

Three humanitarian aid workers from the Caritas-Congo aid organisation were kidnapped by alleged members of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) on Tuesday. The organisation's communications officer told the AFP that: “Two vehicles of the Caritas Congo were attacked at Misinga and three Congolese workers were kidnapped during the ambush." One German journalist was wounded in the leg when the assailants opened fire at the second vehicle as it fled the scene. The FDLR is mainly stationed in eastern DRC's areas of North and South Kivu, where they are accused of carrying out multiple crimes against civilians.

Ugandan rebels kill 30 in eastern DRC

Suspected Ugandan rebels from the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) have killed at least 36 people in north-eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.  The DRC army claimed gunmen attacked the village of Rwangoma, 5km from Beni, on Saturday evening.  The population of Beni "has once again been hit by terrorist acts of diverse origins whose objective is to sabotage the efforts at peace undertaken over the last two years," said Julien Paluku.

Civilians killed in North Kivu province

At least 12 people were killed in several locations across DRC's North Kivu province on Sunday evening. The local Congolese Army spokesman, Cpt. William Ndjike, claimed that the attack, which targeted government forces and villages, was executed by members of the Hutu-ethnic Mai-Mai militia. The area most affected was Kiribizi, where seven civilians lost their lives. Cpt. Ndjike also stated that over 150 houses were burned down, forcing local residents to flee the area.

Rebel forces kill eight in eastern DRC

Ethnic militias have killed at least eight civilians amid inter-communal violent in Kibirizi, eastern DRC. Local activist, Innocent Gasigwa, told Reuters that Nande ethnic Mai-Mai Mazembe militia were behind the attack. Gasigwa also said that the incident seems to be in retaliation for the Hutu ethnic Rwandophone community in the area, who are the alleged killers of more than seven civilians in an attack targeting Nande residents last month in Rutshuru. The North Kivu region is located near the border with Uganda and Rwanda, where groups such as the Mai-Mai Mazembe militia and Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) fully operate cross-border.

Security forces shoot man dead near Kinshasa

Amid the rising political tensions across DRC, one man has been shot dead by security forces in Limete on the outskirts of Kinshasa. According to reports a man riding a motorcycle was killed, sparking anger from activists of the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS).  A UDPS activist told the AFP that the rider was targeted because he "was wearing a t-shirt bearing the image of UDPS leader Tshisekedi". The rising protests and unrest in DRC have been triggered by a ruling by the country's Constitutional Court in May that President Joseph Kabila could remain in office in a caretaker capacity beyond the end of his mandate.

DRC troops clash with Ugandan rebels in Oicha

At least seven people have been killed in clashes between Congolese troops and suspected Ugandan rebels in Oicha in eastern DRC.  “Clashes between FARDC (Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo) and the ADF [Allied Democratic Forces] have resulted in three dead among the assailants, two FARDC soldiers and two civilians were killed including a teacher,” Lieutenant Mak Hazukay, spokesman of the army in the region told AFP on Sunday.  The ADF are a Ugandan rebel group who have operated in eastern DRC since the 1990s.

Tens of thousands rally against President Kabila

Tens of thousands of people took part in a rally against DRC President Joseph Kabila in Kinshasa on Sunday.  The protesters were demanding that Kabila step down in November when his mandate ends, and not alter the constitution to remove term limits.  Many of the demonstrators are supporters of coalition leader Etienne Tshisekedi, who returned to the country on Thursday after spending two years in Belgium.

Six demonstrators arrested in Bunia

Six members of the Citizen Front 2016 have been arrested during a demonstration in Bunia, north-eastern DRC. The six were taken to the premises of the National Intelligence Agency (ANR) for further questioning. The Citizen Front 2016 condemned the arrests and stated that the government is failing to fulfil its promises to ease the country's political repression and to engage in open dialogue. The city's mayor, Ferdinand Fimbo, denied that the order to arrest was given to the ANR; however he claimed that the suspects were disrupting the public order. The Citizen Front 2016 is a recent coalition of opposition parties and civil society groups formed ahead the DRC elections, schedule to be held in November.

Opposition leader returns to DRC after two years

The 83-year-old opposition leader, Etiennes Tshisekedi, has returned to the DRC after two years in Belgium where he has been receiving medical treatment. Hundreds of his supporters gathered at Kinshasa airport to welcome him, many claiming Tshisekedi is the "solution of all the problems". Tshisekedi is the main opponent of President Joseph Kabila, who is expected to amend the constitution to extend his rule for a third term. Tshisekedi was second in the contested 2011 elections against Kabila.

LRA kidnappings hit six-year high

Reports issued on Wednesday by monitoring groups stated that kidnappings in Central African Republic (CAR) have reached the highest level for six years. The Resolve and Invisible Children, groups that monitor the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) activities, reported that 498 people were abducted by the Ugandan militia between January and June, the majority of them in eastern CAR and northern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The LRA is originally from northern Uganda; however the militant group, headed by Joseph Kony, was ousted from the region nearly 10 years ago. It now operates in the poorly patrolled borders of CAR, DRC and South Sudan.

Civilians killed in eastern DRC attack

Seven people are feared to have been killed by a Hutu rebels in Rutshuru, eastern DRC. Local activists told Reuters on Tuesday that seven civilians were killed in a retaliatory attack, allegedly carried out by the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), which denied the involvement in the attack. The incident comes two weeks after nine civilians were killed by suspected Ugandan rebels in Oicha in North Kivu.

Nine civilians killed in eastern DRC

Nine civilians have been killed in an attack by suspected Ugandan rebels in eastern DRC.  Lieutenant Hazukay Mak, spokesman for the Congolese army, said the incident happened in the town of Oicha in North Kivu overnight on Monday.  The assailants snuck into the village, around 30km north of Beni, at night and killed villagers using machetes and other crude weapons.

Dozens of ADF rebels killed in eastern DRC

A joint operation carried out by the armed forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the UN mission in the country, MONUSCO, led to the death of 42 Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) members. Among the casualties are the leader of the group, Hood Lukwago, who was killed along with other rebels during an offensive in the eastern part of the country. The operation 'Usalama' was launched in mid-May by both forces to clear the area around Beni from the ADF insurgency.

Former DRC leader jailed over war crimes

DR Congo's former rebel leader, Jean-Pierre Bemba, has been jailed for 19 years for war crimes and sexual violence at the International Criminal Court (ICC).  The landmark conviction comes for crimes committed in neighbouring Central African Republic (CAR) between 2002 and 2003.  He sent 1,500 troops into CAR to prevent a coup against then President Ange-Felix Patasse.  The ruling said his troops had carried out "sadistic" rapes, murders and pillaging of "particular cruelty."

DR Congo declares yellow fever epidemic

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has declared a yellow fever epidemic after recording 67 new cases of the disease.  The announcement covers the Kinshasa, Kongo Centra and Kwango provinces.  Last week the World Health Organisation (WHO) advised reducing yellow fever vaccine doses to avoid a global shortage.  Yellow fever is transmitted by the same mosquitoes that spread the Zika and dengue viruses.

Military operations intensify in North Kivu

Congolese troops killed at least 23 suspected rebels in the restive eastern region of North Kivu last week as part of Operation Sokola.  The joint DRC-UN operations came after recent rebel attacks left 30 people in the Beni region.  Local residents accuse the government of lacking the political will to end the insurgency in the region.  “We live in abject fear after the horrible massacre recently. We have been unable to carry out our daily activities as usual, and we spend our nights outdoors for fear that our houses will be burned while we are asleep," said a local resident.

Two killed amid violent protests in Goma

Two people were killed during violent protests in Goma, eastern DRC on Thursday. According to a United Nations (UN) official, one police officer was stoned to death by protesters, while a demonstrator was shot dead and two others were injured during an anti-government rally. The incident comes almost a week after demonstrators stormed Goma's streets to protest over the inefficiency of the government and UN forces to prevent massacres in the region.

Arrest warrant issued for opposition leader

DRC authorities have issued an arrest warrant for Moise Katumbi, leader of the People's Party for Reconstruction and Democracy (PPRD), accused of involvement in the recruitment of mercenary forces. The order comes one week after Katumbi was questioned by prosecutors at the Lubumbashi court house, where hundreds of supporters surrounded the building, triggering violent clashes with the police. Katumbi is the main opposition candidate against President Joseph Kabila, who has been accused of trying to hold on to power despite constitutional limits.

Four protesters arrested in eastern DRC

Four people have been arrested during an anti-government protest in eastern DRC.  A small group gathered outside the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) headquarters in Goma to protest against the failure of the government and the UN to prevent massacres in the region, with more than 500 people killed in violence since 2014.  The UN human rights office said the group were protesting peacefully when police attacked them with batons.

Hundreds surround courthouse in Lubumbashi

Hundreds of people surrounded the courthouse in Lubumbashi, DRC's second largest city, to protest in support of the leader of the opposition, Moise Katumbi. He was summoned by the court to make a statement regarding his alleged involvement in contracts with foreign mercenaries. Violence erupted when the police perimeter was compromised and guards used tear gas to disperse the demonstrators. Katumbi is the main opposition candidate against his former ally, President Joseph Kabila, who has been battling to remain in power despite constitutional term limits.

Opposition candidate's house surrounded by police

Businessman Moise Katumbi had his house surrounded by police on Thursday, one day after announcing his candidacy in the presidential elections, which are due to be held in November. Katumbi accepted an offer to represent an opposition coalition that includes the G7, the Collectif des Nationalists, and the Alternance pour la Republique parties, who combined present the biggest challenge to incumbent President Joseph Kabila. Kabila has been president since 2001 and is required by the constitution to step down when his second mandate expires towards the end of this year, although critics claim the government has a different interpretation of the constitution.

ADF militants kill 17 in North Kivu

At least 17 people were killed by suspected Allied Democractic Forces (ADF) militants on Tuesday. Fighters from the ADF, an Ugandan rebel group, raided the villages of Minibo and Mutsonge, near Beni town, North Kivu province, in eastern DR Congo. "The U.N. mission is deploying a fact-finding mission to gather more details about this horrific incident," said Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for the U.N. Secretary General.  Around 1,500 people fled to Ituri province following the deadly raids.

Three ICRC workers kidnapped in eastern DRC

Three aid workers from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) have been kidnapped in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).  The Congolese nationals were travelling to work in Rutshuru when they went missing around 09:00 local time.  In March three Save the Children staff members were abducted and held for seven days in Lubero in North Kivu.

Police fire tear gas at protesters in Katango

DRC police have fired tear gas at protesters in the south-eastern province of Katanga.  Around 5,000 people gathered outside the provincial headquarters of the National Union of Federalists of Congo (UNAFEC) on Wednesday morning to call for President Joseph Kabila to abandon his plans to run for a third-term later this year.  Police arrested four people during the unrest in the Lubumbashi.

Five humanitarian workers kidnapped in Rutshuru

Five humanitarian workers were kidnapped by armed men near the borders with Rwanda and Uganda on Sunday. The victims, workers from the US-based NGO Mercy Corps, were abducted in Rutshuru, North Kivu, as they were returning from Nyanzale to their base in Bwalanda. According to locals, the kidnappers are members of the Mai-Mai Nyatura militia, integrated into the Congolese Army (FADRC) in 2012. The kidnappers have reportedly demanded a ransom of $10k per person.

Yellow fever outbreak kills 21 in DRC

An outbreak of yellow fever has killed at least 21 people in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), according to the World Health Organization (WHO).  There were 151 suspected cases between January and March, and the WHO said there is a "serious risk of further spread of the disease".  The WHO said the increase in cases was linked to an outbreak in neighbouring Angola.

Rebels clash with DRC troops in South Kivu

Four government soldiers and 12 suspected rebels have been killed in clashes in the eastern South Kivu province.  Army spokesman Captain Guillaume Djike said troops clashed with the Rwandan FDLR and two factions of the Mai Mai rebel group over three days.  The fighting took place in Mpati, around 100km south-west of the provincial capital Goma.

Three aid workers abducted in North Kivu

Unidentified gunmen have abducted three Congolese aid workers in DRC's eastern North Kivu province. The victims, who worked for the international non-profit organization Save the Children, were attacked in the Lubero region and taken to an unknown location.  “They were taken into the bushes and right now, we do not have any information regarding their whereabouts or demands of the kidnappers,” said Heather Kerr, DRC Director of the Save the Children.  During 2015, more than 175 people were kidnapped in the region.

Two villagers dead in Beni attacks

At least two civilians have been killed in an attack by suspected Ugandan rebels near the eastern city of Beni.  "The village of Ntombi in Beni territory was the scene of an attack by ADF (Allied Democratic Forces). Two bodies have just been found," local administrator Kalonda Amisi told the AFP.  More than 400 people were reportedly killed by the ADF in eastern DRC in 2015.

Opposition leader detained over protest calls

An opposition leader was briefly detained in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on Sunday.  Martin Fayulu was arrested by security agents at the headquarters of his ECIDE party in Kinshasa.  The arrest came hours after Fayulu called for a general strike on Tuesday against President Joseph Kabila.  Fayulu's lawyer said his client had been beaten in custody and is considering taking legal action.

Ugandan rebels attack troops in eastern DRC

Ugandan Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels carried out an attack on an army camp and UN peacekeepers in eastern DRC on Wednesday.  Local media reported that at least eight people were killed in the raid, which happened near the village of Opira.  On Tuesday a helicopter from the UN Mission for Stabilization of Congo (MONUSCO) was damaged by rebel fire in the same area.

Fourteen people killed by alleged Rwandan rebels in North Kivu

On the night of January 6, 14 people were killed in an attack that has been attributed to rebels from neighbouring Rwanda. The Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), a Hutu group regularly accused of crimes against civilians in the area, are believed to have carried out the attack in Miriki, about 110km north of Goma. The death toll has been confirmed by military sources.

Four killed in rebel attack in eastern DRC

Four people have been killed in an attack blamed on Ugandan rebels in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).  Members of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) allegedly attacked the town of Oicha in North Kivu province on Sunday.  A local official said DRC troops repelled the rebels following a three-hour gunbattle.

Ugandan rebels kill 12 in DRC raids

At least 12 people have been killed in an attack by suspected Ugandan rebels in north-eastern DRC. "I saw four civilians killed by bullets... and seven patients and a nurse cut up by machete at the hospital," a regional official told the AFP news agency from North Kivu province. A local NGO claimed the actual death toll was 30, including eight Congolese soldiers and one member of the UN mission in DRC - MONUSCO. The Ugandan rebel group, the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), have been blamed for the assault in the Ruwenzori mountains.

Police clash with student protesters in Kinshasa

Police in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have fired tear gas at student protesters in the capital, Kinshasa.  Hundreds of people gathered on the Avenue de la Liberation to protest against rises in state university tuition fees, which are due to increase from $320 to $435. "We wanted to demonstrate to attract the attention of the authorities," a student who did not want to be named told Reuters. "The police fired on us with tear gas and live fire. Is this how [President Joseph Kabila] plans on staying in power after 2016?"

Local NGO workers kidnapped in North Kivu

A group of 14 local NGO workers have been kidnapped in the eastern North Kivu province of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The group, who were working as part of the World Food Programme, were abducted by unknown assailants in Katwiguru, around 120km from Goma.  Local officials suspect the Rwandan Hutu rebel group the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) of carrying out the attack.

Civilians killed in FRPI attack in Irumu

At least two people have been killed in attacks by the Front for Patriotic Resistance in Ituri (FRPI) in the Irumu region of DRC.  One person died in the Walendu Bindi chiefdom, while another fatality was reported after a group of 20 militia fighters raided local villages in Bunga.  Meanwhile heavy fighting has continued between the Armed Forces of the DRC (FARDC) and the Ugandan rebel group Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) in North Kivu.

Two militias agree peace deal in DRC

Two ethnic groups have signed a peace agreement in the Democratic Republic of Congo, aimed at bringing an end to the wave of violence which has killed hundreds and displaced tens of thousands in the south-east of the country since 2013.  Leaders of the Luba and the Twa agreed the deal in the town of Kalemie earlier this week.

Ugandan rebels carry out deadly raid near Beni

One person has been killed, three wounded and two others abducted during an attack by suspected Ugandan rebels near the eastern city of Beni.  Military officials in DRC said the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebel group carried out the raid on Oicha on Sunday night.  The group are reported to have carried out a number of ambushes on the N4 highway north of the city of Beni.

Villagers flee violence in Irumu territory

Hundreds of villagers have fled violence and abuses by the Front for Patriotic Resistance of Ituri (FPRI) in the Irumu territory in northern DRC.  Militiamen raided the villages of Alingba and Aveba on 28 September, wounding at least one person and ransacking dozens of homes.

Six killed in army base attack in North Kivu

At least six people have been killed in an attack on a military camp in North Kivu province.  Three soldiers and three soldiers' wives died in the assault on the camp at Rumangabo, around 50km north of Goma.  The unknown assailants also escaped with heavy weapons, according to an army source.

Violent clashes at opposition rally in Kinshasa

On September 15, an opposition rally in Kinshasa, with about 3,000 people in attendance, was attacked by unidentified youths who pelted demonstrators with stones. One of the presumed attackers was beaten violently by young rally participants. The rally was aimed at opposing any unconstitutional bid by current President Joseph Kabila from attempting to run for a third term in upcoming elections on November 27, 2016. 

Seven soldiers killed in northeast DRC

Seven Congolese soldiers were killed on Thursday night in a surprise attack by heavily armed militants, believed to be Ugandan Islamist rebels. Attackers carrying guns and bladed weapons targeted a camp run by the Congolese army near the town of Mbau. Seven soldiers were killed and four others were wounded. Two civilians and four attackers are reported to have also been killed in the attack. 

At least seven civilians killed in Ugandan rebel attack

At least seven civilians have been killed in an attack by the Allied Democratic Forces-National Army for the Liberation of Uganda (ADF-NALU), near Mbau, Kivu province, in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). However, a local NGO, the Beni-based Study Centre for the Promotion of Peace, Democracy and Human Rights puts the death toll at nine. The attack happened in an area without a presence from government troops, and where many people have been evacuated because of the ADF-NALU threat.

Six soldiers killed in ambush

Six soldiers have been killed in the North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). This is a region where Rwandan Hutu rebels are known to operate. The attack took place between 07.00 and 08.00 GMT, and occurred in Rugari, about 50km north of Goma, the provincial capital. " A Republican Guard jeep was ambushed in Rugari," said Justin Mukanya, adminstrator of Rutshuru territory. "Six soldiers were killed by a rocket in the ambush," he said. The identities of the attackers are not yet known, but an investigation is reportedly underway. An intelligence officer based at the military's regional headquarters in Goma confirmed the deaths of the six soldiers.

Congo measles outbreak infects at least 20,000

A measles outbreak in a southeastern province of the Democratic Republic of Congo has killed more than 300 people and infected at least 20,000, according to a preliminary United Nations report. The outbreak is still expanding, and hundreds more in remote areas may have died without their deaths being recorded. 

Mass rape in the Republic of Congo

UK Foreign Office Minister David Lidington has spoken after reports of mass rape in the DRC. He said "I am shocked and appalled bu the recently reported mass rape of over 150 women and children by armed militia groups in the Walikale territory in eastern DRC.... I welcome the decision of the UN Secretary General to send two senior officials to investigate the incident and take charge of the UN response. I understand that MONUSCO have already increased their patrols and civilian protection measures in the area. I call upon the Government of DRC to enact their zero tolerance policy on human rights abusers and bring the perpetrators to justice."

At least 3 killed in eastern Congo earthquake

At least three people have been killed when a 5.6 magnitude earthquake struck eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Two of the fatalities were children, who died in a house in Bukavu, and the third was a police officer near the airport. Sources in Bukavu said the toll could rise slightly but there was no widespread evidence of destruction in the town. 

Six Imams kidnapped by Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda

Rebels from the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) are believed to have kidnapped six Tanzanian Muslim imams and their driver in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The abduction by suspected militants linked to the group occurred between the villages of Katwiguru and Rutshura, after the imams preached in parts of North Kivu. The kidnappers contacted the Islamic community in Goma, eastern Congo, and asked for a $40,000 random for the release of the hostages. 

Gunmen attack Goma airport in eastern DRC

Gunmen have attacked Goma airport in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), leaving four government soldiers and three assailants dead. "Bandits got inside the airport area to try to steal from depots (storing goods) waiting to be loaded on to cargo planes," the governor of the restless North Kivu province, Julien Paluku, told AFP. "Fortunately the army was there."

Rebel attacks spark protests in eastern DRC

Hundreds of people have joined protests in the eastern town of Beni after suspected Ugandan rebels killed at least six people.  Riot police fired live rounds in the air to disperse the crowds, who are angry at the lack of security in the restive region.  The Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a Ugandan rebel group which is active in eastern DRC, have been blamed for the attack on a village on Monday evening.

UN peacekeepers killed in DRC ambush

Two United Nations peacekeepers from Tanzania have been killed and 13 others wounded in an ambush near the eastern town of Beni, close to the Ugandan border.  They were attacked in the village of Kikiki by the suspected Ugandan Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) on Tuesday. "I won't tolerate any more of these repeated attacks against blue helmets in Beni territory," said Martin Kobler, head of the UN mission Monusco. "Monusco will carry out robust offensive operations."

Three UN workers kidnapped in eastern DRC

Three members of the United Nations peacekeeping mission have been kidnapped in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. "Three members of MONUSCO (the 20,000-strong UN peacekeeping force)... have been kidnapped in Kibumba", around 30km north of the provincial capital Goma, a UN source told the AFP.  It was reported that the two Congolese and a Zimbabwean were working on a de-mining project.

Pro-democracy activists arrested in Goma

At least 11 pro-democracy activists have been arrested in the eastern city of Goma.  The group were protesting against the detention of several other people at a rally in the capital, Kinshasa, on Sunday.  DRC's government has accused the activists, including Senegalese and Burkinabe nationals, of plotting an US-backed insurgency.  The Belgian embassy said two of its nationals were assaulted during the latest arrests.

Congolese army gains in offensive against rebels

Government spokesperson stated that the Congolese army has killed 14 rebels and captured 102 others in its offensive in the east of the country, announcing territorial gains. The offensive was launched nearly a week ago after rebels belonging to the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) failed to honour a deadline to disarm.

Army launches offensive against Rwandan rebels

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) army has launched an offensive against Rwandan Hutu rebels in the east of the country.  Military sources said the operation against the FDLR (Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda) began on Tuesday near the city of Uvira in South Kivu province.  Ministers had pledged to target the FDLR after they failed to meet a deadline to disarm.

UN troops pull out of DRC operation

The United Nations (UN) has withdrawn its support for a planned offensive against rebels from the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR).  A UN official said the decision was made after the government refused to sack two generals accused of human rights abuses. "We intend to fully support the FDLR operations as soon as the outstanding issues regarding command of the operations are resolved," said the official.

Schools close in Kinshasa as protests continue

The Roman Catholic Church has closed its schools in the Democratic Republic of Congo's capital, Kinshasa, as protests against President Joseph Kabila continue.  Banks and other private business have also shutdown in the city, while some television stations have been shutdown by the government.  At least 20 people have been killed in three days of unrest, which was sparked by Mr Kabila's proposed electoral law which will allow him to stay in power beyond his current term.

Police open fire during Kinshasa protest

Police have opened fire during a demonstration in DRC's capital, Kinshasa, wounding two students.  Thousands gathered to join a protest organised by opposition groups against proposed election reforms that would extend President Joseph Kabila's mandate beyond 2016.  Security forces sealed off the parliament building while police fired tear gas at crowds at Victory Square in the centre of the city.

Ugandan rebels kill 30 in Beni raid

Suspected Ugandan rebels have killed at least 30 people during a raid near the eastern town of Beni.  The army blamed the latest attack on the village of Oicha on the Allied Democratic Forces and National Army for the Liberation of Uganda (ADF-NALU).  More than 200 people have been killed in the region in recent weeks.

Massacre near Ugandan border leaves 50 dead

At least 50 people have been killed in a massacre near the eastern border with Uganda.  A group of attackers armed with machetes and axes carried out the assault around 10km from the town of Beni where UN peacekeepers are stationed.  The government blamed the Ugandan rebel group the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) for the assault.

Army clashes with Ugandan rebels near Beni

The Congolese army has clashed with suspected Ugandan rebels near the town of Beni in north-eastern DRC.  The Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) are believed to have been behind a series of attacks in the area in recent weeks which have left at least 110 people dead since last month.  Hundreds of local residents took to the streets of Beni over the weekend to protest against the escalating violence.

Dozens killed in eastern DRC attacks

At least 80 people are reported to have been killed in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo over the past 10 days.  Over the weekend more than 20 people, mostly women and children, were killed by militants in the village of Eringeti, close to the Ugandan border.  A similar raid on Thursday left 26 people dead in the area, which a local rights group claim was carried out by the Ugandan rebel group, the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF).  On Saturday night armed men also raided a prison in the town of Butembo, releasing hundreds of prisoners.

Surrendered fighters die of starvation in DRC

More than 100 demobilized fighters and their families have died from starvation and disease at a remote military camp in north-west Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), according to Human Rights Watch (HRW). “The Congolese government’s neglect of these former fighters and their families is criminal,” said Ida Sawyer, senior HRW Congo researcher. “Before more people die, the government should immediately move them to a place where they have food and health care and are treated with basic human decency.”  Defence Minister Alexandre Luba Ntambo said the claims were irresponsible, blaming international donors for failing to deliver aid.

Anti-Kabila protesters rally in Kinshasa

Around 2,000 people took to the streets of Kinshasa on Saturday to protest against President Joseph Kabila's attempts to remove constitutional term limits and remain in power.  The rally, which was organised by several opposition parties, chanted "Kabila Must Go" as they marched to a stadium in the north of the capital.  Mr Kabila is currently half way through his second term in office and under the constitution is due to step down in 2016.

Kidnapped MSF doctor freed in DRC

A doctor from the charity Medecins Sans Frontiers (MSF) has been released more than a year after she was kidnapped in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.  Chantal Kaghoma was freed along with four other people following clashes between their captors, the Ugandan rebel group Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), and the regular Congolese army.

Ebola deaths confirmed in DRC

The DR Congo's health ministry has confirmed that two people have died from the deadly Ebola virus.  Felix Kabange Numbi said that the cases were reported in the north-west Equateur province where dozens of people have died in an outbreak of hemorrhagic gastroenteritis in recent weeks.  Mr Numbi said that the virus was a different strain of Ebola from the one spreading across West Africa, where it has killed more than 1,600 people.

Heavy gunfire erupts at Kinshasa barracks

Heavy gunfire has been reported at a military barracks in the capital, Kinshasa, after the presidential guard repelled an attack by a group of "infiltrators".  The government said that Camp Tshatshi is now under control following the attack, although the identity of the assailants has not been confirmed. 

Heavy fighting reported along Rwanda-DRC border

At least five Congolese soldiers have been killed during clashes between DRC and Rwandan troops along the two countries shared border.  According to local reports the fighting began when Rwandan soldiers crossed the border in North Kivu and abducted a Congolese army corporal.  Both countries, which have been odds since the 1994 Rwandan genocide, have blamed each other for the latest clashes.

Dozens killed in ethnic clashes

At least 37 people have been killed during ethnic clashes in the eastern region of South Kivu over the weekend.  The region's interior minister said the attack was likely a revenge killing over cattle raids in the area.  All of the victims were reported to be from the Bafuliru tribe.

Four dead in mass jailbreak

At least four people have been killed during a mass jailbreak in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).  More than 300 people broke out from the prison in Bukavu when inmates overpowered guards in the early hours of Friday morning.

Deadly stampede in Kinshasa kills 15

At least 15 football fans have been killed and 20 others wounded in a stampede at a football stadium in the Democratic Republic of Congo's capital, Kinshasa.  According to officials a group of angry fans began harassing four police officers, who responded by firing tear gas into the crowd, causing widespread panic.

Stampede at music festival kills 14 in Kikwit

At least 14 people have been killed in a stampede at a music festival in the town of Kikwit.  Large crowds had gathered at the festival, which was being held as a tribute to the popular Congoloese singer King Kester Emeneya, who died in Paris earlier this year. "A rush due to the enthusiasm of the audience, who came in large numbers to watch events marking the first edition of the festival…led to the death of people and damage to property", said the provincial government in a statement.

Director of Virunga National Park shot in ambush

The director of the Virunga National Park has been shot and wounded during an ambush in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).  Emmanuel de Merode, a Belgian conservationalist, was shot four times on the road between the park's headquarters in Rumangabo and Goma by suspected rebel fighters.  He is now in a stable but critical condition at Goma's Heal Africa hospital.

Journalist dies from gunshot wounds in DRC

A Congolese journalist has died from gunshot wounds that he sustained during a shootout between troops and Ugandan rebels in North Kivu.  Germain Kennedy Mumbere Muliwavyo, a reporter from the private Radio Television Muungano, was travelling with the Congolese troops when they were ambushed by gunmen from the Allied Democratic Forces rebel group.  Two other journalists were wounded in the attack, which occurred near the village of Kamango.

Dozens executed in the eastern DRC

More than 70 people have been executed by armed groups in the restive eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) according to a report by the UN peacekeeping force MONUSCO.  A spokesman for the mission said that the attacks took place in the Nyamaboko villages in the north-eastern province of North Kivu in late January and early February.

Four killed in clashes at DRC national park

Four people have been killed and two seriously wounded during clashes between national park rangers and suspected Rwandan rebels in eastern DRC.  In a statement the Virunga national park said that one of its rangers and three fighters from the FDLR rebel group died in a gun battle over the weekend.

Government troops clash with rebels in Lubumbashi

At least 26 people have been killed in clashes between government forces and rebels in the southern city of Lubumbashi.  Police said that the fighting, which reportedly lasted for more than eight hours, was launched by the separatist Mai Mai Kata Katanga rebel group.

Troops regain control of Kinshasa from gunmen

Government troops have regained control of the capital, Kinshasa, after unknown gunmen stormed the state TV headquarters and the city's airport.  A government spokesman said that 40 attackers have been killed during the operation.  Earlier the gunmen released a message on TV against President Joseph Kabila on behalf of a religious leader, Paul Joseph Mukungubila, who ran unsuccessfully for the presidency in 2006.

Heavy fighting kills 40 in North Kivu

At least 40 people have been killed after rebels attacked a village in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.  Members of the ADF-NALU rebel group targeted Kamango, close to the border with Uganda, killing villagers and destroying several houses.  Peacekeepers from the MONUSCO mission later targeted rebel positions in the area, leading to the deaths of nine soldiers and 10 rebels.

Villagers killed in North Kivu attacks

The UN have said that at least 21 people, including women and children, have been found dead in eastern DRC.  Martin Kobler, head of the MONUSCO mission, said that the victims had been hacked to death over the weekend in two villages close to the town of Beni in the North Kivu province.  It is not clear who carried out the attacks, but the UN mission said the atrocities would "not go unpunished".

Government signs peace deal with M23 rebels

The Democratic Republic of Congo's government has signed a peace deal with the M23 rebel group in the Kenyan capital Nairobi.  Government spokesman Lambert Mende said that agreement included provisions for the dissolution of the M23 as an armed group.  The rebels suffered a number of defeats in October at the hands of UN-backed government troops in the east of the country.

UN peacekeepers target FDLR rebels

UN peace keeping troops have launched an offensive against a Rwandan Hutu rebel group in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.  "MONUSCO's intervention brigade launched operations against the FDLR (Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda) yesterday, Tuesday, in Kalembe, in the Masisi region," the mission said in a statement.

DRC, rebels disagree over peace accord title

The Democratic Republic of Congo's government and M23 rebel group have reached an 11th-hour stalemate during a ceremony to formally their 18-month conflict.  The country's information minister, Lambert Mende, said that the two sides disagreed over whether the document should be entitled a peace agreement of a vaguer declaration.

M23 rebels declare an end to insurgency

The M23 rebel group has declared an end to its 20-month insurgency, hours after government forces drove the militants from their last hilltop positions in Tshanzu and Runyoni.  The rebels said that they would now adopt "purely political means" and urged its fighters prepare for "disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration on terms to be agreed with the government of Congo".

M23 rebel group call for a ceasefire

The M23 rebel group have called for a ceasefire in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo after the army forced them out of their last major stronghold.  The government have not yet responded to the ceasefire and fighting is still being reported in the area.  Last week troops recaptured the border town of Bunagana, forcing dozens of rebels to flee to neighbouring Uganda.

Army seize final M23 stronghold

Congolese troops have captured the eastern border town of Bunagana, the last significant stronghold of the M23 rebel group.  A large military force entered the town with very little resistance after rebels and civilians fled in anticipation of the military operation.  More than 50 M23 rebels reportedly fled into the Kisoro district of western Uganda, many of them handing themselves in to Uganda troops.

Fresh fighting reported between DRC troops and M23 rebels

Heavy fighting has erupted between the army and members of the M23 rebel group in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.  The clashes took place around 25km north of the city of Goma, and comes after peace talks in the Ugandan capital Kampala broke down following two months of negotiations.

UN peacekeeper killed near Goma

A United Nations peacekeeper has been killed and three others wounded during clashes with M23 rebels near Goma in eastern DRC.  In recent days the UN forces have been targeting rebel positions in Kanyaruchinya and Mutaho, north of Goma, with artillery fire and air strikes. 

Thousands flee DRC after rebel attacks

Some 30,000 people have fled DR Congo after the Ugandan rebel group The Allied Democratic Forces raided the eastern town of Kamango at the end of last week.  Elsewhere the M23 rebel group have been engaged in heavy fighting with army forces near the city of Goma.

Clashes reported during protests in Bukavu

At least 41 people are reported to have been wounded during clashes in the Nguba neighbourhood of Bukavu in South Kivu.  Members of the Banyamulenge community were reportedly attacked by a group of students before police were dispatched to restore order in the area.

M23 rebels clash with government troops outside Goma

Heavy fighting has been reported in eastern DR Congo between government soldiers and fighters from the M23 rebel group.  The clashes, which occurred 12km north of Goma in Kivu province, are the first to take place between the two sides since the rebels withdrew from the region last year.  The fighting comes as a new 3,000 UN-backed African peacekeeping force are arriving in the country tasked with dealing with the M23, a move which the group have described as a declaration of war.

Army base attack leaves 31 dead in eastern DRC

At least 31 people have been killed after gunmen attacked an army base in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.  The Mai Mai fighters and DRC army fought a two-hour gun battle at the recruitment centre near the town of Beni in North Kivu province.

UN peacekeeper killed in South Kivu attack

A Pakistani peacekeeper working for the United Nations has been killed in an ambush in the eastern South Kivu province.  A spokesman for the Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that the attack had been carried out by "unknown assailants".

Democratic Republic Of Congo Data Sheet

Population:
75.5 million
Major Religion/s:
Christianity, Islam
International dialing code:
+243
International dialing prefix:
00
Emergency services:
None currently in operation
Drives:
Right
Voltage:
220V
Climate:
Tropical
Ohter Major Cities:
Lubumbashi, Mbuji-Mayi, Kolwezi, Kisangani
Borders:
Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Zambia, Angola, South Sudan