DRC: Goma swells with displaced as M23 advance

Renewed fighting between the M23 armed group and pro-government forces in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo has pushed thousands more people into Goma, the largest city in the east and a humanitarian aid hub that is now encircled by the Rwanda-backed rebels.

Goma's previous population was around 1.5 million, but an additional 700,000 people have arrived during the past two years of conflict, including more than 200,000 that have come in recent weeks as the M23 expands its control over an unprecedented amount of territory.

Displaced people, local and international humanitarian workers, and Goma residents all describe a city buckling under huge strain, with overwhelmed displacement camps, food prices rising sharply, and the fear of an M23 takeover looming large.

— Arlette Bashizi and Fidèle Kitsa for The New Humanitarian, April 4 (excerpt)

See our last reports on the M23 insurgency.

Rwanda denies attack on DRC IDP camp

Rwanda denied on May 4 claims made by US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller accusing its forces of an attack targeting the Mugunga camp for internally displaced persons (IDP) in Goma, a city in east of the Democratic Republic of Congo. (Jurist)

Was Rwanda behind blasts at DRC displacement camp?

A vigil was held for victims of bomb blasts that struck displacement camps on the outskirts of Goma, the largest city in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. More than a dozen civilians were killed on May 3 when shells crashed into camps sheltering people displaced by the Rwanda-backed M23 insurgency. The US blamed the Rwandan army and the M23 for the attacks, though Kigali called the accusation "ridiculous." (TNH)