A weakened judicial system in the Democratic Republic of Congo allows offenders to go unpunished and prevents people from accessing justice. Conflict in the region has contributed to this problem, but Brussels-based Avocats Sans Frontières, known as ASF, is trying to combat this issue in DRC.
Throughout East Africa, presidents are using a variety of controversial methods to overstay term limits and remain in power. Uganda might be the next to follow suit as its leader bumps up against its constitution’s upper age limit for holding office.
In Goma’s Birere slum, hazards including candles and kerosene lamps abound, water is scarce, and there are few emergency services or decent roads. Overcrowding is another factor, but a group of young volunteers in the neighborhood has created a fire response service.
Women in Democratic Republic of Congo, who face a high risk of being raped because sexual violence is used as a weapon of war there, also suffer from complex health problems, often related to pregnancy and childbirth. HEAL Africa, which offers reconstructive surgery for women who have fistulas, also provides safe transport for women who live in remote areas that are sometimes surrounded by violent militias.
Since 2010, kidnappings have been common throughout North Kivu province and citizens blame the government for the lack of security in the region. Rebel groups are suspected in most kidnappings, which seek to fetch high ransoms.
Road construction projects, pledged by President Joseph Kabila during his campaign in 2006, started in North Kivu province in 2008 but quickly came to a halt because of a lack of funds. Unpaved pathways are unsafe for drivers and pedestrians in the provincial capital, Goma; store owners complain of dirt covering merchandise and other detriments to their business.
Rwandan children of all ages are left alone each day near the border crossing with Democratic Republic of Congo as their mothers peddle food and other goods there. The women say they have no other way to earn money, even though their work forces their children to fend for themselves during the day.
This article refers to a March 26th speech by Paul Kagame. The speech has been intentionally paraphrased, rather than quoted, to comply with Rwandan law that forbids the president's words to be used out of context.
A 1,150 percent tax increase on used clothing and shoes (known as “caguwa”), along with a total ban on the widespread trade that will take effect in 2019, are intended to promote local manufacturing and self-reliance. Those involved in secondhand sales say these actions will ruin their livelihoods, though the government promises solutions.
Meetings between Nandes and Hutus in Lubero territory are being held to reduce tensions between the two groups. Leaders are asking residents of all ethnicities to refuse to associate with rebel organizations and are urging the government to do its part to quell violence.