Selected Accounts from Victims and Witness in North Kivu from recent 10-day Human Rights Watch mission to the most affected territories of Masisi and Rutshuru in eastern Congo
Kinyatembe (near Kirumbu), Masisi Territory
Pierre is a 17-year-old youth from Kinyatembe village. When CNDP combatants arrived on June 28, he ran into the hill overlooking the village and saw the CNDP shoot and kill his aunt, her baby she was carrying on her back, and her 14-year-old daughter. “She was running behind the house when the CNDP came,” Pierre told Human Rights Watch researchers. “She wasn’t that fast, so they stopped her and killed her and the kids. Another person was chopped to death by machete.” After looting and burning 20 houses in Kinyamatembe, the CNDP left and PARECO came back. Many of the villagers fled; those who stayed were too scared to sleep in their village and now spend their nights hiding in the nearby forest.
Mashango (near Bukombo), Rutshuru Territory
Claude lives in Mashango, a village in the Bukombo administrative area. In mid-February, PARECO combatants killed six members of the local chief’s family. “They tied them up and took them outside the house,” he said. “Then they burned the house and shot and killed each of them. One was shot in the back of the neck, another had her head taken off by a bullet. The 14-year-old boy was shot below the stomach, and the 10-year-old was shot in his legs. The fifth was shot in his side, and the last had one leg cut off by machete before being shot in the other leg.” Claude later found their bodies outside the remains of their house.
Bwero (near Kalembe), Masisi Territory
Antoine fled from Bwero after repeated attacks by the FDLR on his village. “In January, the FDLR came to our house and tied up two of my family members,” he said. “Then the FDLR shot them and threw their bodies in the latrine. They were targeted because they had been in areas controlled by the CNDP.” Antoine was released because he is handicapped. Three others were abducted by the FDLR during the same incident and have not been seen since.
Shoni (near Bukombo), Rutshuru Territory
Elise fled from Shoni to a displacement camp in Nyanzale earlier this year. “My son Pierre was killed in April by the CNDP when he went to the fields to look for food,” she recalled. “His friends who were with him saw him being killed, and they ran back and told me. I was already living in a displacement camp and my son used to go regularly to the fields to look for food. Two other people I know were killed by the CNDP when they had gone back to look for food in March. They were beaten to death with a small hammer called an ‘agafuni.’ Their heads had been split open. I saw it myself, and I helped to bury their bodies.”
Kitchanga, Masisi Territory
Marceline is displaced in Kitchanga. “We heard there were peace talks in Goma, and we thought that meant the war was over,” she said. “But we’re surprised that until today, the war continues and we haven’t seen any difference.”