Congo: Grinding Down the Rebels



Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire)

May 9, 2006: The government will try to form and deploy 18 security brigades in time for the July 30 elections. There are 9,630 candidates running for 500 seats in the parliament, while 33 are competing for the presidency.

May 8, 2006: Over the weekend, nearly 200 Mayi-Mayi rebels, and their families, surrendered to troops in the southeast. About fifty of the rebels were armed, and apparently belonged to one of the many Mayi-Mayi factions that refused to join an earlier deal with the government.

May 6, 2006: Some 356,000 people in the Congo are "internally displaced" by fighting or the threat of violence. Most of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) are in the eastern and southern portions of the Congo. Approximately 200,000 of the IDPs are in Ituri province (eastern Congo).

May 4, 2006: Army units forced 4,500 civilian refugees in a camp near the town of Tchomia to leave the camp. The Army told the civilians that militiamen were hiding in the camp. Tchomia is in Ituri province. The 4,5000 civilians left the camp. It was reported that soldiers told the civilians they would be shot if they remained in the camp.

May 2, 2006: The Congo government changed the date of this summer's scheduled presidential elections. The new election date is July 30. The planned election date was June 18. The big concern remains security. 1500 European Union troops are scheduled to deploy to the Congo to help UN peacekeepers and the Congolese military protect the elections.

Rwandan Hutu rebels struck a Congolese military camp. The Rwandan rebels operate as a militia force. Troops killed six Hutu rebels, losing two soldiers. It's estimated that there are 10,000 Hutu rebels in the Congo. most are Rwandan Hutus who were involved in the 1994 Rwandan genocide. The remainder are Burundian Hutus.

May 1, 2006: Rwandan Hutu rebels attacked a village north of Goma (Congo-Rwanda border), killing seven civilians.


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