“Insecurity continues to grow in North Kivu because of the presence of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) rebels. The Congolese national army is badly organised and not responding with urgency. Potentially dangerous new alliances are forming. Last week security services arrested 18 former combatants who were planning a new rebellion at Beni-Lubero Territory.
As part of the peace process some National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP) rebels have agreed to integrate into the national army. This mixed force now controls the territory of Rutsuru and one part of Lubero. It’s in this area that the humanitarian situation is very bad and where we continue to work. Elements of the Mai-Mai Pareco group have been calling for a return to the battlefield. Some Mai-Mai groups are beginning to mix with FDLR rebels. We are working hard to stop this process and have been using radio broadcasts and face-to-face talks to persuade the armed groups not to return to violence.
Tension is high and for two months certain roads have been too dangerous to travel with ambushes from armed men dressed in military uniforms. One of our Task Force members was recently arrested by the army commander in Butembo for talking with the Mai-Mai Parecoi group. The good news is that once the army commander realised the intentions of the Task Force he released my colleague and now the army commander wants to be a member of the Task Force!
There are still many IDPs in the area too afraid to return back to their villages. We have been giving them some emergency assistance and continue to try to return them to their villages where it is safe enough to do so.
Beni 25 May 2009”