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HEAL Africa provides holistic care for the people of Democratic Republic of Congo
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North Kivu Conflict Update 2008

HEAL Africa works at the epicenter of a conflict that has raged for years, but has come to a climax in the last several days. Control for Goma currently rests in limbo between the national army (FARDC) in collaboration with the UN peacekeeping forces (MONUC) and the rebel group, CNDP, led by Laurent Nkunda who is allegedly backed by Rwanda. Yesterday Kibumba and Kabti, north of Goma, fell to CNDP and the national army retreated along the road to Goma along with 20,000-30,000 refugees who were staying in camps in the two villages. 

FARDC increased the insecurity in Goma, rather than protecting its citizens they have gone on a looting spree, helping themselves to products inside stores. Stolen cars have also been reported. The prisoners  broke out from the prison and have contributed to the widespread looting. The population of Goma is locked inside of their houses anxiously awaiting a confrontation between CNDP and FARDC/MONUC. 

News and updates on HEAL Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo

The hospital is functioning normally at the time this was written and there has not been a massive influx of injured patients. FARDC tried to steal the ambulance, but Dr. Jo Lusi refused to let them take it. Three HEAL Africa staff members are stuck in Kiwanja which is now under CNDP control. They are not harmed, but were refused access to the MONUC compound because they are not on the priority list. In solidarity with the government nurses, HEAL Africa's nurses were on strike, but have returned to work in order to deal with a potential disaster. 

Through much of the media, the unrest is presented as a tribal conflict, but it is a conflict rooted in control for resources. Resources such as coltan (in latops and cell phones), diamonds, gold, tantalum, minerals which drive the global economy. It is the people of DR Congo who are suffering for the extraction of these minerals which are sold to multinational companies. Write your senator using this letter to tell them to support Senate Bill 3058 and enforce multinationals to follow strict extraction and purchasing guidelines.