Great Lakes

Remittance rip-offs

LONDON, 22 April 2014 (IRIN) - All over the world migrant workers are sending money home to their families. The money pays hospital bills and school fees, buys land, builds houses and sets up small businesses. The cash goes from the US back to Mexico, from the Gulf back to India, from the UK back to Somalia, and from South Africa back to Malawi, Zimbabwe and the rest of southern Africa. full report

Looming polls raise Burundi’s risk profile

BUJUMBURA, 17 April 2014 (IRIN) - As Burundi gears up for elections at some yet-to-be-determined date next year, several issues are setting the crisis needle twitching: politically-instigated violence; restrictions on opposition activities and the press; the erosion of a power-sharing peace deal; and the president's allegedly unconstitutional bid to run for a third term. full report

Mob violence rife in DRC’s Ituri District

BUNIA, 17 April 2014 (IRIN) - The near absence of any effective policing in the northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) district of Ituri, Orientale Province, is fuelling mob violence which has seen about 100 people killed and 1,500 houses torched in the past year, according to local civil society groups. full report

Back to Rwanda

GOMA, 11 April 2014 (IRIN) - The Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) has long been one of the most significant armed groups active in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where it has been based ever since its founders fled neighbouring Rwanda after playing a key role in the 1994 genocide. full report

Priced out of food in the CAR

BANGUI, 10 April 2014 (IRIN) - The mass exodus of Muslims from the Central African Republic (CAR) amid insecurity is having an adverse impact on access to basic foodstuffs, say retailers and local people. full report

Fighting an invisible enemy in DRC

BISHONGERA, 9 April 2014 (IRIN) - It is difficult to identify the fighters of the Forces Démocratiques pour la Libération du Rwanda (FDLR), one of the many armed groups active in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), some of whose leaders played a key role in Rwanda’s genocide 20 years ago. Bearing neither uniform nor insignia, they are indistinguishable from the civilian population. full report

Getting CAR back to school

BANGUI, 9 April 2014 (IRIN) - Coloured paper chains from last Christmas still hang from the ceiling of a dusty classroom in the Groupement scolaire pour une éducation fondamentale et internationale (GSEFI), a multi-faith school in Bangui, capital of the Central African Republic (CAR). full report

Growing up in war - the DRC's child soldiers

KIWANJA (NORTH KIVU PROVINCE), 31 March 2014 (IRIN) - When he was seven Dikembe Muamba* became a soldier on the orders of his uncle, a chief in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) North Kivu Province. full report

“Get a grip,” UN chief tells CAR leaders

BANGUI, 27 March 2014 (IRIN) - Amid an upsurge in attacks on African Union (AU) peacekeepers, the UN special representative in the Central African Republic (CAR) has called on the population and leaders to “get a grip” and not allow blind hatred to destroy the country. full report

Tug of war over Muslim community in western CAR

BODA (WESTERN CAR), 24 March 2014 (IRIN) - Anti-balaka militia fighters at the diamond mining town of Boda in the Central African Republic (CAR) have rejected a government-sponsored attempt to allow a Muslim community of about 12,000 people to stay there. full report