Understanding Congo

[video:youtube:NC8GzpcVY_o] Fred’s put together an excellent post detailing the background to the conflict in North Kivu in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. The situation in Goma is tense, as can be seen in the Sky News report above. To get a flavour of how this feels on the ground take a look at Samantha’s blog. She works in Virunga National Park and spent the night holed up in a car with two fellow workers inside the UN compound in Goma,

I am now back at home after an uncomfortable night in a car with William and Eddy at the UN compound in Goma where 650 other people were also taking refuge. The shooting carried on until about 1am and then it was quiet. It was a clear night, the stars were out, and you could clearly see the Nyiragongo volcano that shone like a beacon over the city. I cannot remember the last time it was so orange and so bright – a real ball of fire, which of course it is quite literally. link

Meanwhile Nicolas Kristof at the New York Times publishes an email he received from an aid worker in Goma,

Sadly, Colonel Padiri’s 800 well armed and organized defense force holding Kibumba and Kabati did not last till lunch time. The FARDC are fleeing back into Goma, looting shops and taking vehicles to pack their loot in. They are probably heading for Bukavu. The population is fleeing with them, down from Kibumba and Kibati, and flooding into town. All the humanitarians are collected together in Ihusi hotel and VIP Palace. link