Thursday, 30 October 2008

Today's pictures from Goma (Thurs)

You can see how close Goma is to the Rwandan border. Today the reports talk of gunfire and looting in Goma itself. The fighting has arrived at the very front door of Rwanda. Having said that, I can't emphasize too stronglt that at the moment all of us volunteers working in Rwanda are not in any danger. Don't worry for us, and be reassured that we'll be pulled out of harm's way if the fighting actually enters Rwanda.
All these photos are from today's BBC website. The Rwandan daily paper site ("New Times") has absolutely nothing at all on its main page about the situation in DRC, it's trying to play things down. Also the Government here is incensed by the BBC's coverage and the BBC's suggestion (repeated on today's page) that the Rwandan Government is in some way supporting the rebels in DRC.
Another photo of misery on the move. Having worked in the refugee camp at Gihembe, where people have been living in temporary accommodation for twelve years, I can unserstand only too well what awaits these people, and I can only imagine how long they'll have to wait before they can return home.

The U N is there - the biggest UN detachment anywhere in the world at the moment - but they are pretty well constrained by their mandate as to what they can do. The UN only moves at the pace of its slowest and most recalcitrant member, which is yet another tradegy.

First you see pictures of Congolese troops unloading heavy weapons to go and slaughter the rebels......

...... and then you see pictures of Congolese regular army troops retreating away from Goma and leaving it at the moercy of the thugs, rapists, murderes and above all the looters. All that stands between Goma and Rwanda is a metal pole barrier.

Equatorial heat, torrential tropical rain, deep mud, mosquitoes, snakes. And that's just the natural obstacles these people are facing.

The single face that says it all.....
We are now being officially warned to stay away from Gisenyi. As muzungus we would be prime kidnap targets. So I can't get my own pictures. Thank you, BBC, for these on our behalf.

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