No place, they say, is like home. This is a widely used phrase, especially when discussing subjects like origin, identity, and other such things. To the displaced people of Congo, however, there is a limit to how proud or desirous of home anyone can be.
What’s happening in Congo?
Following the fighting between the national army and M23 rebels in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo in March, thousands of Congolese fled to neighboring Uganda. The Congolese government is now urging them to return and regain their villages, but the displaced people are reluctant, fearing for their lives.
Has the government secured the villages?
The rebels were reported to have retreated from the location of the clash – areas around Goma, the capital of North Kivu – but the fleeing victims are not convinced. “The rebels are still in our villages, it’s too complicated to go back because we can’t live together, there may be other clashes and we will be victims”, one of the displaced persons said.
According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, about 36,000 civilians have been displaced within the country, with 10,000 others fleeing across the border to neighboring Uganda.