Painting by Cheri Samba

Lokuta eyaka na ascenseur, kasi vérité eyei na escalier mpe ekomi. Lies come up in the elevator; the truth takes the stairs but gets here eventually. - Koffi Olomide

Ésthetique eboma vélo. Aesthetics will kill a bicycle. - Felix Wazekwa

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A bar fight leads to pillage and rape in Fizi

New Year's Day in Fizi, South Kivu, brought bad news and gave an idea about how stupid and arrogant the violence in the Kivus has sometimes become.

A argument broke out in a bar between a Congolese army soldier and a civilian, reportedly over a woman.  The soldier shot the other man in the abdomen, which then prompted a mob to lynch the soldier. As retaliation, the local army battalion went on a rampage in town, raping and looting the village. Various reports suggest that between 10 and 29 women were raped and at least two people were killed. Much of the population fled to the surrounding areas. A delegation led by South Kivu Governor Marcellin Cisambo and MONUSCO arrived in Fizi on January 7th and the UN is deploying peacekeepers to the town. The population has asked for the army headquarters of the 43rd Sector to be relocated away from Fizi.

All this because of a bar fight?


MissBwalya said...

Could you have a more blatant example of weak institutions that fail to serve and protect the local population?

If members of the national army can rampage like this over a damn bar fight, little wonder the same actions and worse are taken for more serious issues facing the Congo. Any response from the senior leaders at that local battalion?

Jason Stearns said...

Yes, they've apparently arrested some of the soldiers in the battalion that carried out the looting.

Anonymous said...

'When a leader does not have ears to listen to his/her population cry, he or she does not have a head to gorvern...' I believe this is very much true for the Congolese reality. A political surgery is much needed, rather than mere economic and military temporary dressing bandages!

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