Painting by Cheri Samba

Lokuta eyaka na ascenseur, kasi vérité eyei na escalier mpe ekomi. Lies come up in the elevator; the truth takes the stairs but gets here eventually. - Koffi Olomide

Ésthetique eboma vélo. Aesthetics will kill a bicycle. - Felix Wazekwa

Monday, May 17, 2010

Kadhalika

  • I was thinking about blogging about developments in Rwanda, but Texas in Africa beat me to most of the stories here.
  • The US State Department has officially begun talks with representatives from the tin and electronics industry with regards to the mineral trade in the eastern DRC. Last week, Under Secretary of State Robert Hormats spoke with industry officials in Washington, signaling that the executive branch has now gotten involved in trying to regulate the supply chain, after two bills were submitted in the House in this regard.
  • There has been increased presence of Rwandan troops along the border with North Kivu over the past week. It's not clear (to me, at least) what this is about, although it may have something to do with the grenade attacks that rocked Kigali on Saturday (2 dead, 26 wounded). A prominent Congolese newspaper reported large infiltrations of Rwandan troops, but I would take that with a large grain of salt until it is confirmed.
  • I have copied OCHA's most recent stats regarding civilian displacements and returns in North Kivu. (It's pretty small, see here for original.) The skinny: since January 2009, 675,000 people have been displaced and 717,000 have returned home. This is a bit confusing, as some areas have become more violent, while others have calmed down - in other words, not all those displaced have returned home. In general, the territories of Walikale and Lubero have been the worst affected in 2010, as most of the fighting with the FDLR has shifted westwards and as trouble with local militia (Tcheka, PARECO, ACPLS) has taken place mostly in these remote areas. Walikale has seen 100,000 new IDPs since Jan 2009 with only 5,6,00 returnees; Lubero has seen a whopping 400,000 new IDPs with 290,000 returns.

1 comment:

Adam Hooper said...

(Two weeks late, but hey...)

I was in Gisenyi on May 15th (Saturday). An hour before the grenade attacks, a border guard told me he'd noticed double the usual number of Rwandan soldiers making the rounds that day. He didn't know what for.

If that Saturday's troop build-up had to do with the grenade attacks, somebody must have had a premonition.

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