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Grim News from the Democratic Republic of Congo:Mass Graves, Refugees and Ebola

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Congolese Village Today

The news from the Democratic Republic of Congo is especially grim today, and follows on the heels of a MONUC report of mass graves in Rubare, in the territory of Rutshuru, North Kivu.


Monday, six civilians on a Lake Albert passenger boat were killed by Ugandan soldiers, according to UN reports. There are conflicting reports of the incident, which was provoked during a dispute over an oil exploration vessel working on the border lake. 

Eight more cases of the deadly Ebola hemorrhagic fever have been confirmed in the Democratic Republic of Congo, bringing the total to 17, the World Health Organization said on Tuesday. The refugee situation could further exacerbate this threat. 

WHO spokeswoman Fadela Chaib said six of the 17 known Ebola victims died in the southern province of Kasai Occidental. 

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Military dissidents loyal to renegade army general Laurent Nkunda have resumed fighting in the eastern province of North Kivu, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, two weeks after a ceasefire was negotiated by the UN Mission in the Congo (MONUC). 

The increasing number of people continuing to arrive in displacement camps in North Kivu, fleeing the forces of Nkunda, is finally attracting world commentary. 

"The number of people forced to flee violence this year in the DRC's North Kivu province has passed the 300,000 mark, the highest level in over three years," said UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) spokesperson Jens Hesemann.

According to MONUC, at least 3,000 people have flooded a refugee camp near Goma in the past two days. 

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Georgianne Nienaber is an investigative environmental and political writer. She lives in rural northern Minnesota, New Orleans and South Florida. Her articles have appeared in The Society of Professional Journalists' Online Quill (more...)

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