DR Congo VI

Return to War, November 2012

In November 2012 fighters from the M23 rebel group, backed by the Rwandan government, seized Goma, one of the biggest, cities in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Riots erupted in several places across the country and thousands of people were forced to leave their homes, as fighting broke out throughout the city. There was little resistance from the Congolese National army, who witnesses say, simply fled. United Nations peacekeepers sat in their armored personnel carriers and watched.

By seven every evening the streets were deserted – lawlessness was rife and people were terrified to leave their homes.

Electricity was cut because the lines coming from Bukavu were attacked. As a result people couldn’t pump fresh water and diseases like cholera started to spread.

Thousands of people were displaced – many have been displaced again and again in previous fighting. They lived in the open air or schools. Some received emergency medical care but all lacked shelter and food.

  • A woman and her family flee ongoing fighting between M23 rebels and Congolese Government. Kate Holt.
  • Families displaced by ongoing fighting wait to cook their evening meal. Kate Holt.
  • A Congolese Government soldier, killed in recent fighting between rebel M23 soldiers and Congolese Government soldiers. Kate Holt.
  • A woman injured in recent fighting between rebel M23 soldiers and Congolese Government soldiers. Kate Holt.
  • Elie Kakule,who is only 11 years old had his arm amputated after he was hit by a bomb during recent fighting. Kate Holt.
  • A woman recently displaced by fighting poses for a photograph in a school in Nzumu. Kate Holt.
  • M23 rebel soldiers patrol in the town of Sake that they seized from Congolese Government soldiers. Kate Holt.
  • Jolly who has been raped, and had a baby as a result, during recent insecurity. Kate Holt.
  • A young girl, suffering from cholera lies on her bed in a cholera treatment centre run by MSF. Kate Holt.
  • Families displaced by recent fighting between M23 rebels and Congolese Government soldiers try to cook their daily meal. Kate Holt.
  • Women who have been raped, and had a babies as a result, during recent insecurity. Kate Holt.
  • A brother and sister who have been displaced by recent fighting between M23 rebels and Congolese Government soldiers. Kate Holt.
  • Families displaced by recent fighting between M23 rebels and Congolese Government soldiers. Kate Holt.
  • Families queue up to receive food rations at Don Bosco Orphanage in Goma. Kate Holt.
  • A woman and her daughter who have been forced to flee their homes because of recent fighting. Kate Holt.
  • A woman waits with her election card to receive a food ration in Mugunga camp in Goma. Kate Holt.
  • Peacekeepers from the UN force in the Congo - MONUSCO - patrol the streets of Goma. Kate Holt.
  • Families queue up to receive food rations at Munungi refugee camp in Goma. Kate Holt.
  • Families queue up to receive food rations at Munungi refugee camp in Goma. Kate Holt.
  • A woman who was shot in the leg when she fled flighting between M23 rebels and Government soldiers. Kate Holt.