Banditry takes hold in Rwanda camps

GOMA (Reuter) - Five people were killed this weekend in Goma in the teeming refugee camps of eastern Zaire, as banditry and mob violence take their toll. Aid officials said that two men and a woman were killed on Sunday morning in Mugunga, a camp of 200,000 to the west of Goma, during fights over plastic sheeting.

'As the rains approach, plastic sheeting is becoming a more precious commodity and only 50 per cent of the refugees have been supplied so far,' said Ray Wilkinson, a spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). In central Goma the 15- year-old son of a local aid worker was killed by a grenade he had picked up in the street. His brother, 10, lost an eye.

In Kituku, a smaller camp near Lake Kivu, a Hutu who was calling for refugees to return to their homes in Rwanda, was surrounded by a crowd, accused of being in league with the Tutsi-dominated Rwandese Patriotic Front (RPF) government in Kigali and beaten to death.

The Kituku killings follow a pattern established in the camps, where Hutu militiamen are doing their best to prevent a mass return to Rwanda, now in the hands of the RPF. Refugees who try to leave are systematically accused of being spies and are often lynched by the suspicious crowds, urged on by the militiamen.

Confronted with this level of hostility, the UNHCR has had to abandon many of its repatriation plans, or carry them out secretly in the early hours of the morning. Officials say only about half of Rwanda's farmers are back on their land and that half of the country's population needs emergency food aid. The UNHCR did, however, succeed at the weekend in repatriating 400 refugees from the Rwandan town of Cyangugu on the southern banks of Lake Kivu, Mr Wilkinson said.

The issue of providing security to refugees who want to return is one of the items on the agenda at talks taking place in Goma between Zairean and Rwandan government experts. The Rwandans have come with a list of demands. They want the Zairean army to provide returnees with an armed escort and they want refugees' weapons to be confiscated.

They also want an explanation of reports that the Zaireans are helping 20,000 former Rwandan government troops to regroup and train, with a view to launching a counter-attack on Rwanda.

(Photograph omitted)

More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete tomorrow
people'I’d rather have Fred and Rose West quote my characters on childcare'
Kim Jong Un gives field guidance during his inspection of the Korean People's Army (KPA) Naval Unit 167
newsSouth Korean reports suggest rumours of a coup were unfounded
Arts and Entertainment
You could be in the Glastonbury crowd next summer if you follow our tips for bagging tickets this week
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Kylie performs during her Kiss Me Once tour
musicReview: 26 years on from her first single, the pop princess tries just a bit too hard at London's O2
peopleSwimmer also charged with crossing double land lines and excessive speeding
Arts and Entertainment
A new Banksy entitled 'Art Buff' has appeared in Folkestone, Kent
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Senior Marketing Manager - Central London - £50,000

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (Campaigns, Offlin...

Head of Marketing - Acquisition & Direct Reponse Marketing

£90000 - £135000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Marketing (B2C, Acquisition...

1st Line Service Desk Analyst

£27000 - £30000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client who are...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Birmingham - Huxley Associates

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Huxley Associates are currentl...

Day In a Page

Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

Education, education, education

TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

So why don’t we do it and save some lives?
This man just ran a marathon in under 2 hours 3 minutes. Is a 2-hour race in sight?

Is a sub-2-hour race now within sight?

Dennis Kimetto breaks marathon record
We shall not be moved, say Stratford's single parents fighting eviction

Inside the E15 'occupation'

We shall not be moved, say Stratford single parents
Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Talks between all touched by the crisis in Syria and Iraq can achieve as much as the Tornadoes, says Patrick Cockburn
Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

The Tory MP speaks for the first time about the devastating effect of his father's bankruptcy
Witches: A history of misogyny

Witches: A history of misogyny

The sexist abuse that haunts modern life is nothing new: women have been 'trolled' in art for 500 years
Shona Rhimes interview: Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Writer and producer of shows like Grey's Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes now has her own evening of primetime TV – but she’s taking it in her stride
'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Jimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style