Wednesday, 28 January 2009

trouble in the refugee camps

A family's home in Gihembe refugee camp, taken when I visited it.

I'm just reading reports on the BBC that people living in the refugee camps at Kigeme and Gihembe have been taking to the streets to protest about Nkunda's arrest on Friday. (Gihembe is the refugee camp where I spent a week training teachers last March). Apparently Nkunda was tricked into entering Rwanda; he was told that Rwanda wanted to consult him about sending their army into the Congo; when he actually entered Rwanda they arrested him.

For the refugees in the camps, Nkunda is still a hero, and they see him as the only person capable of chasing out the Interahamwe militias and making the Congo safe enough for them to eventually return home.

The Rwandan authorities, however, take an extremely dim view of any protests that they haven't organised, so they sent police and troops in mass to the camps to disperse the demonstrators. We understand they were firing live ammunition, though it's not clear at the moment whether any of the refugees have been shot.

(Sigh.......) When is all this going to end?

1 comment:

Sara said...

Hi Bruce

I work at VSO UK and came across your blog and found it really interesting.

I thought you might be interested to know that VSO has just launched it’s own online community where you can chat to other VSO volunteers and supporters. If you haven’t already you can register at:
http://community.vsointernational.org

I thought other volunteers would be interested in reading your blog and you might like to post a link to it in the blogs discussion area of the VSO online community:
http://community.vsointernational.org/discussions/blogs

Cheers
Sara