NOVEMBER 2012 BACK ISSUE In November 2008 rebel forces lead by self styled General, Laurent Ngunda and his CNDP armed militia, moved from the north west of the Democratic Republic of Congo and came close to capturing the strategic town of Goma. The attacks and rapes committed by his forces caused terror and an exodus of refugees soon headed for the UN compound in the village of Ruthturu. The UN were there as peacekeepers and not enforcers.  They mostly stood by as Ngunda exerted control over the region. This was just another chapter in the turbulent past of the DRC that has seen an estimated five million people killed in on-going civil war and rebel groups fighting for control of valuable minerals found in the north west of the country. A civilian is forced to attend a 'political reeducation' rally run by general Ngunda in Rutshuru, north of Goma, DRC. A witch doctor watches on as General Laurent Ngunda addresses a 'political reeducation' rally in Rutshuru, north of Goma in the DRC. Attendance was compulsory. A child refugee shelters from the blistering heat in a makeshift refugee camp in Rutshuru, north of Goma. Executions and rapes have forced many to gather at the gates of the UN camp. The UN have no mandate to use force and the attacks continue. General Laurent Ngunda lectures local civilians rallied together in a football stadium in the town of Ruthshuru. His rebel soldiers had taken over the town, executions had forced an exodus from surrounding villagers who gathered in search of safety at a local UN camp. A female witch doctor dances at a rally to reeducate the local villagers after Laurent Ngunda and his rebel CNDP party has seized land around the village of Rutshuru. Children are searched before entering the football stadium where rebel CNDP leader Laurent Ngunda has forced all civilians to attend a reeducation rally. The personal bodyguards of CNDP leader, Laurent Ngunda, gather at the local football stadium where he is due to attend a forced gathering of local villagers. A rebel CNDP soldier guards a mass gathering of civilians forced to attend a rally at a football stadium. Civilians gather in the blistering midday heat at the local football stadium. Attendance is compulsary and the crowd have waited over three hours for Laurent Ngunda, head of the rebel CNDP group to arrive. General Laurent Ngunda poses for the camera in the town of Ruthsuru, north of Goma, in the DRC. His rebel CNDP group cause fear and terror in the region and many are seeking help from the UN who spend most of their time in base camp. A starving child at a makeshift refugee camp in Rutshuru, DRC , gulps down water distributed by the UN forces who are powerless to act against the rebel CNDP group. A child begs for food from UN soldiers stationed in Rutshuru, north of Goma. CNDP rebels have attacked, killed and raped locals and many have gathered to seek protection from UN soldiers. CNDP soldiers stop and search refugees fleeing from the north. They are seeking protection from a UN base in the village of Rutshuru. Rebel fighters from the CNDP rebel group defend a bridge north of the village of Rutshuru, north of Goma. An orphaned child carries his home on his head as the rebel CNDP group lead by Laurent Ngunda has caused an exodus from villages to the north of Goma, DRC. A rebel with an RPG defends a bridge near Ruthturu. Note, the weapon is not loaded! UN soldiers venture out of their base in Ruthshuru as refugees flee the violence to the north. Local children in Goma, DRC, scrabble through piles of rubbish in search of anything they can find to eat. Local women in the town of Ruthhuru queue for food aid being issued by the UNHCR. They have fled the violence further north causing a food crisis in the towns they have gathered in. Two children with a sack of grain, issued by the the WFP, transport it home on a home made scooter. Goma, DRC. Locals with sacks of food aid pass a UN patrol near Goma. Attacks by rebel CNDP forces have caused a refugee crisis to the north of Goma and the UN accompany aid missions to the north.
Traumatised child stands rooted to the spot after CNDP rebels raided her town the night before. Refugees in the town of Ruthshuru gather outside of the UN compound in search of food and water. They have fled the violence from CNDP attacks to the north. Back to current issue