Democratic Republic of Congo

  1. DR Congo ex-presidential aide falls sick in jail

    Emery Makumeno

    BBC News, Kinshasa

    Vital Kamerhe
    Image caption: Kamerhe was sentenced to 20 years hard labour for corruption

    A top former aide to the Democratic Republic of Congo's President Félix Tshisekedi has fallen sick in jail and may need treatment abroad, according to a government minister.

    Vital Kamerhe was sentenced to 20 years' hard labour in June after facing charges of embezzling almost $50m (£39m) of public funds.

    President Tshisekedi has not replaced him as chief of staff.

    Kamerhe remains the most high-profile figure to be convicted of corruption in the country. He was admitted to hospital in August.

    "I have come to see for myself. I can tell you that he is seriously ill, he needs proper treatment and [the state of] his health may require sending him abroad for better care,” Justice Minister Bernard Takahishe told journalists on Tuesday.

  2. DR Congo rebel leader sentenced to life for mass rape

    Emery Makumeno

    BBC News, Kinshasa

    Ntabo Ntaberi at a rally (archive shot)
    Image caption: Ntabo Ntaberi had an arrest warrant issued against him in 2011

    A military court in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo has sentenced a rebel leader to life in prison for mass rape and crimes against humanity.

    Ntabo Ntaberi was jailed at the end of a two-year trial which saw 178 victims testify.

    Also known as Cheka, Ntaberi surrendered to the UN mission in DR Congo in July 2017 after being on the run for nearly six years.

    He was one of the leaders of a militia group known as Nduma Defense of Congo, which operated in the restive North Kivu province.

  3. DR Congo declares end of Ebola outbreak

    Catherine Byaruhanga

    BBC News, Kampala

    A healthcare member disinfect a health centre with chlorinated water
    Image caption: DR Congo has faced back-to-back Ebola outbreaks since 2018

    The Democratic Republic of Congo says it is now Ebola-free after more than 40 days without a case.

    The latest outbreak of the deadly disease in the northwest of the country was its third in two years, but vaccines and treatments developed during previous epidemics now offer hope to patients.

    Since 2018, DR Congo has faced back-to-back Ebola outbreaks, some of them overlapping.

    At the start of June, several patients were diagnosed in Mbandaka, Equateur’s provincial capital and 130 people went on to contract the virus – with 55 of them dying.

    The Mbandaka cases emerged as a different outbreak in the east of the country was coming to an end.

    More than 2,000 people died from the disease in the North Kivu and Ituri provinces over two years. It was the world’s second biggest outbreak.

    Equateur Province also had a much smaller outbreak in early 2018.

    During this period scientists have trialled new vaccines and treatments in the country.

    A World Health Organization-approved vaccine by the pharmaceutical company Merck has been given to 400,000 people in DR Congo.

    Just last month, the United States Food and Drug Administration approved Inmazeb as a cure for Ebola, after clinical trials in the country.

  4. Dozens of people executed 'en masse' in DR Congo

    BBC World Service

    A map showing the North Kivu province, Beni, and the national capital Kinshasa.

    About 30 people have been killed in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo in the latest attack blamed on Islamist militants.

    Local officials in the North Kivu province said the victims were found after being executed en masse.

    They said initials reports showed members of the ADF militia were responsible for the attack.

    In a separate incident, six people were killed in the village of Kokola.

    Both attacks occurred in the Beni region, where the Congolese army has been fighting the ADF.

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  5. DR Congo musician Tshala Muana arrested

    Emery Makumeno

    BBC News, Kinshasa

    Tshala Muana
    Image caption: Tshala Muana, seen here in 1993, has won several international awards

    A source from the intelligence service in the Democratic Republic of Congo has confirmed to the BBC that musician Tshala Muana has been arrested.

    No statement has been released by the artist's family but various media outlets in the country are reporting that she was detained around midday local time.

    The 62-year-old's recently released song, Ingratitude, is believed to be the source of her trouble.

    The lyrics depict a person, who is not named, who had been granted all the advantages of life but forgot to perform good deeds once in power.

    Many here believe that the award-winning musician is talking about current President Félix Tshisekedi - but Tshala Muana hasn't confirmed this.

    She was very close to the family of DR Congo's former President Joseph Kabila.

  6. DR Congo to 'reopen border crossing with Rwanda'

    Emery Makumeno

    BBC Africa, Kinshasa

    A map of Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda

    The Democratic Republic of Congo is set to reopen one of its main border crossing with Rwanda on Wednesday, according to the authorities in the eastern town of Goma.

    The crossing was closed in March as a safety measure to limit the spread of coronavirus. Only cargo lorries were allowed to pass.

    Local administrators from both countries met last Monday and agreed to reopen the border point to students and workers affected by its closure.

    North-Kivu province, where Goma town is located, has reported the second highest number of coronavirus cases in Congo. The capital, Kinshasa, remains the epicentre of the pandemic in the country.

    Congolese President Félix Tshisekedi lifted the closure of all border crossings in July, but the stretch between Goma and Gisenyi - which neighbours Rwanda - had remained closed,.

    DR Congo has in recent weeks witnessed a spike of new Covid-19 cases in, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

  7. Isabel dos Santos' husband dies in Dubai accident

    BBC World Service

    Sindika Dokolo, the husband of one of Africa's richest women, Angolan Isabel dos Santos, has died at the age of 48.

    Mr Dokolo's family confirmed that he had died in Dubai on Thursday.

    Friends said he had been involved in a scuba diving accident.

    View more on twitter

    Mr Dokolo and his wife have been under investigation by the Angolan authorities for allegedly diverting more than $1bn (£770m) of state funds.

    Ms Dos Santos is the daughter of the former president of Angola, José Eduardo dos Santos.

    The couple had denied wrongdoing, and insisted they were the victims of a political vendetta.

    Mr Dokolo, who was born in Kinshasa and raised in Belgium and France, was a prolific art collector, amassing thousands of contemporary African works.

  8. Eighteen killed by militants in DR Congo

    Majid Nusrat

    BBC Monitoring

    Suspected Islamist militants have killed 18 people in the restive north-eastern Nord Kivu province, the latest incident in a region where the army and UN forces are fighting several armed groups.

    The Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) were responsible for the attack in Bayeti village, Mamove locality in Beni territory, local officials said.

    Victims, most of them in their homes, were killed by gunshots and knives. The attackers also set fire to several homes, churches, and businesses at 19:00 local time on Wednesday, they said.

    The head of a civil society group in Mamove, Kinos Katuho, said locals had spotted the attackers earlier in the day.

    "The residents had seen the enemy [attackers] from midday. We had gone to report to the FARDC [army] elements based in Bayeti, but they were unable to prevent the attack and protect the population," he is quoted as saying by the Actualité website.

    At least 42 people have been killed by the ADF in Mamove since 3 October, Mr Katuho said.

    The ADF, whose origin is Uganda, has been blamed for many attacks in eastern DR Congo in the past few years. Many other armed groups also operate in the region.

    In the past year, the Islamic State group (IS) has claimed responsibility for several attacks blamed on the ADF.

  9. DR Congo army 'kills 27 Rwandan and Burundi rebels'

    BBC Monitoring

    The world through its media

    A map of the Democratic Republic of Congo

    The Democratic Republic of Congo's army (FARDC) has killed 27 Rwandan and Burundian rebels in a volatile eastern region, Rwanda News Agency (RNA) has reported.

    "The FARDC have claimed to have driven Rwandan and Burundian armed groups out of their strongholds in a 'large-scale' operation in the eastern province of South Kivu," RNA said.

    The report said that the DR Congo army had targeted Burundian rebel group, Red Tabara, and the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), both active in the eastern region.

  10. DR Congo army says it has seized rebel group's HQ

    Mary Harper

    Africa editor, BBC World Service

    The Congolese army says it has seized the headquarters of a Burundian rebel group in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

    A military spokesman said members of the National Forces of Liberation (FNL) had fled into the forest after three days of intense fighting.

    He said the army had also fought against a Rwandan rebel group, the CNRD, and another Burundian group known as Red Tabara, which last month staged several cross-border raids into Burundi.

    A number of Rwandan and Burundian rebel groups are based in the east of the DR Congo, along with dozens of local militias.

  11. Armed fighters free 900 inmates from DR Congo prison

    Emery Makumeno

    BBC News

    Armed fighters released at least 900 prisoners in Beni, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, in the early hours of Tuesday, according to the local mayor.

    Among the inmates who have escaped from Kangbayi central prison are convicted militia members.

    Some 110 inmates remained at the prison.

    The attackers were equipped with welding equipment.

    Mayor Modeste Bakwanamaha has blamed an armed group operating in the area for the attack.

    He has asked residents to denounce escapees who may be hiding in the city.

  12. WHO names team to probe DR Congo sex abuse claims

    A girl receives a vaccine against Ebola from a nurse in Goma on August 7, 2019.
    Image caption: The Ebola outbreak mostly affected eastern DR Congo

    The World Health Organization (WHO) has appointed two women leaders to head investigations into allegations of sexual abuse and exploitation by aid workers during the recent Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

    Congolese human rights advocate, Julienne Lusenge, and former Nigerien minister, Aïchatou Mindaoudou, will co-chair the commission.

    The commission will "swiftly establish the facts, identify and support survivors, ensure that any ongoing abuse has stopped, and hold perpetrators to account", according to a WHO statement.

    The UN health agency tweeted its full statement:

    View more on twitter

    A year-long investigation published last month by The New Humanitarian and the Thomson Reuters Foundation indicated that aid workers who identified themselves as WHO staff sexually abused women during the Ebola outbreak in the country.

    Local women were allegedly plied with drinks, "ambushed" in hospitals, forced to have sex, and two became pregnant.

    The allegations cover the period between 2018 and March 2020.

  13. Congolese activist fined for stealing African artefact

    Quai Branly museum
    Image caption: The staff was stolen from the Quai Branly museum in Paris (File image)

    A Congolese activist has been fined for stealing an African artefact from a museum in France.

    Emery Mwazulu Diyabanza said he took the 19th Century Chadian funeral staff from the Quai Branly museum in June as part of a protest against colonial-era plundering.

    Mr Diyabanza intends to appeal against the 1,000 euro ($1,200; £900) fine, reports AFP news agency.

    He is quoted by AFP as saying that the "judges of a corrupt government" had no moral right to prevent him "going to get what belongs to us".

    "We will continue the fight with whatever means we have," he added.

    Vice magazine has described Mr Diyabanza as "a real-life Killmonger" - a character in the Black Panther film who protests against a museum in Europe keeping an artefact pillaged from Africa.

  14. Gunmen kill ranger in DR Congo's famous Virunga park

    A ranger at the world famous Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo has been killed in an attack on a patrol post by an armed group.

    In a statement, the park offered its condolences to the family of Bagurubumwe Chuhoze Deogene, 47, following his killing on Saturday by gunmen suspected to be from the FDLR-RUD rebel group.

    The gunmen also pillaged nearby villages, the statement added.

    View more on twitter

    Virunga National Park is Africa's oldest nature reserve. It is popular with tourists who visit its mountain gorillas.

    The biologically diverse park is a Unesco World Heritage Site in the restive east of the DR Congo.

    At least 12 rangers were killed in the park in April by suspected rebels who operate in the region.

    In 2018, park ranger Rachel Masika Baraka was killed during the brief kidnapping of two British tourists and their driver.

  15. Schools reopen in DR Congo

    Schools in the Democratic Republic of Congo are reopening, a month after the initial date was postponed.

    Teachers have said that schools are not ready to reopen and want learning to resume on 26 October, but the authorities have refused to postpone.

    The initial reopening was scheduled for 3 October.

    Some teachers' unions have threatened to strike if salary arrears are not cleared. Teachers also want an audit to detect bogus teachers.