Office of Resources, Trade, and Technology
Scope and Impactj
Eastern Zaire's Humanitarian
A Research Paper
Eastern Zaire's; Humanita Crisis: Scope and Impact
mid-July influxillion Rwandan refugees lo Zaire's eastern border provincesumanitarian crisis that is likely to persist for at least anodter six months. The sheer vie of (he refugee populationenormous relief requirements:
thannternational nongovernmental organizations (NGOi) are involved in the relief efforts; food requirements aloneetric tons per dayJ
Although the emergency has eased at relief has flowed into Uie region, conditions in the camps remain poor:
Dtitnoratmg security has become the most severe constraint to relief efforts, especially in the Coma region. Vlo|ence in ihe camps plagues both refugee* and reliefumber of NGOs have threatened to pull out of camps controlled by Hutu mililia and en-government politicians
Relief efforts have not ended malnutrition, disease, and poor sanitation.
In addition, the camps in the Goma region remain vulnerable lo volcanic and other natural hazards.
Meanwhile, relief deliveries face formidable logisticto the remote aad underdeveloped region, inadequate localand the mid-September-to-May rainy seasonJ
The crisis is exacerbating easternongstanding demographic,and security problems:
refugees ore concentratedone lhat ulieody had one of thepopulation densities in Africa.
The influx is reuniting ethnic tensions in the region, according to press l. and already has sparked violence.
The crisis has hurt local agriculture, commerce, tourism, community life, and the enviionment and has disrupted already deteriorated trade relations with neighboring Rwanda as well as with Bui nnd i
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The instability increases the possibilityegional conflict. Observers arc increasingly concerned that ihe Tutsi-dominated Kigali regime will launch retttiatory military strikes into Zaire in responseefugec-direeled raids from Zaire into Rwanda or of an insurgency mourned against Kigali by former Rwandan armed forces. Moreover, ilie Tutsi-controlled military in Burundi is concerned about extremist Hutu refugees just across its border with Zaire. I
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scope of the cm li
ecemercent of sub-saharan africa'*population--in the densely populated and ethnically fractious portions of the eastern zainan regions of nord-kivu and sud-kivu. someof these arc rwandan hutu* who red theirin july and august following the victory of the rwandan patriotic front insurgent* anf ihete refugeeaotna and in camps north and weal of town;re in bukavu and inmall campsost of ihe0 rarrcect of whom arelocated along the rutizi river plaint north of uvira. in addition, the kivus have lens of thousands of rwandan* who fled during earlier pcriodi of turmoil, although iaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa1 mm are returning to rwanda
the humanitarian need* of the refugee population arc huge the un high comrrussioa for refugeeshkh is coordinating relief eltons in east-em zaire, requested siillion for the effort between mid-july and raid-october. this did not cover supplies from other un agencies, such as the un children's fund, the world health organization, and the world food program, which are winking with ihe international committee of the red cross. med-ions sans frontiersnd more thanther nongovernmental organizations (ngos) lo provide food, water, medical services, shelter, and sanitation to refugees in the rrgion.bb|
refugee camp condition*
the acute initial phase of the emergency has ended.
and death rata in the coma camps have fallen from
1 ancatirnawd mdlinnalanomin ibr bukivu region arc ml tacluded la thla nrnberikcj do act nerd mumno in oOaakm. runj otthr sou
Coma andBukaiu: Main Cities
a populationefore the teem influx of Rwandanan important center of economic activity in Nord-Kivu. The town has Umgransportation hub because of its relati -el/ large airport, links lo Rwanda's good roods, command of ihe Imc Kivu ferry traffic, ondproiimity to cojfee-smuggling routei through Rwanda and Uganda.importance ta grown sinceeparate region. Coma has fewlea anil coffee processingamshactte commercialThe town's modems*byeterits location near Lac Ki.u. the Nyiragongo and the Nyamulagtroand Pat Sationale de Virunga aitraci same tourists. Well-to-doPresident flfoftiw lanftlftlbi villas along the hie.
er day in july0 perslightly above the internal tonally accepted norm of
er dayefugee situation. nonetheless, conditions in the refugee camps remain poor.hm
case* of malnutrition arcyoung ch
drcn and in households headed by women. healthattribute (he problemaps in the food pipeline, an improper nutritional mil. and security problems
Bukavm, the economically depressed capital of Sud-Kivu-recisis population ofit drmely settled Uke Coma, itusiness,and minor resort town; il is also an educational center Over the years, local nongovernmental organi-lotions (NCOs) and development organizations have been particularly active in Bukavu. It ismof Pare Naiionale de Kahiizi-Riega. The town's limited industry is based on the processing of agncut-lurul products.
Eastern Zaire Border Area
that prevent equitable distribution of food in the camps. in late august, relief workersigh incidence of malnutrition in the goma areautritional survey in mugunga camp indicated thatercent of children under age five in male-headed households andercent of those in female-headed households were malnourished. in kibumba camp, more than one-fifth of the children under ave wereercent were severelyollowup survey conducted in october concluded that malnutrition rates had increased since august,
| food reliefre affecting food distribution in camps in the uvira area and have created pockets of malnutrition in camps near bukavu.j
although the minimum requirements for cleanbeing met in most camps, the supply of water is still inadequate in some. thisoncern because relief workers believeack of potable water and poor sanitation were responsible for the rapid spread of cholera and bloody diarrhea thai caused theof0 deaths recorded in camps in the goma area in ihe momh following ihe massive influx. shortages of water purification equipment ond the incidence of waterbomearc still widespread throughout thereported in early octoberinsome^ukavu area cami.
rupiion because clean water must be trucked intoof the camps.
efforts to improve camp sanitarian arc proceeding slowly. the needs remain particularly great in the goma area, where the hard volcanic rock surface
early october. ontytnctotriricchi'cwctv'cn
ersons, and many of the existing latrines needed to be closed. conditions are also poor in the bukavu area, where limited land for camp sites has caused severe overcrowding j
Disease remains pervasive. the cholera epidemic has been contained, but deaths from bloody diarrheaother problems include nonbtoody diarrhea, malaria, and acute respiratory diseases. refugeeexpect that incidences of the latter two will increase as the rainy season (mid-september through may) progresses. intestinal diseases are endemic to the region, and periodic outbreaks should also be
lion, relief workers are concerned about the probably high prevalence of hiv infection among refugees^!
finally, ihe camps in ihe goma area remain al risk from volcaniclthough refugees have been moved from the most vulnerable location, continued
1 for rare mfomvjimwi oa (hefcrwjl (cqjupfcy and ml ud. hian)t. teemm
Deteriorating security In the camps has become the most severe constraint to relief efforts. Disorder and violence occur routinely in the Ooma camps, and it has become virtually imposiibhi for NCOs to operate
veek following an incident in the Katale camp that forced the evacuation of relief workers and resulted in the effective takeover of the camp by many of the same elernenis that were responvibk for the geroc.de in Rwanda. In early No-ember, someelief groups threatened to pull out o' camps around Goma because of security conditions. Relief workers ir camps nearfrequent killings, looting of relief supplies, and citortton are concerned about the lack afsecunt^indthehigh levels o( violence. LaaaaaaanVJ bibMbibbbbbbbbbbbIbbV 11
operations in the Bukavu Region in mid-November.
Soldiers from the former Rwanda Armed Forces (FAR) and Hutu militias remain organized and armed inside Zaire and have become increasingly aggressive:
securitylittle to bolster security andundermine it. Zairian forces arc stretchedrudimentaryscipli::c. -ind sufferPress
ngage in violent criminal activity, threaten relief efforts, and clash with Rwandan refugees and soldiers.
the Ooma urea, as many0 FAR troops arc encamped someilometers (km) northwest of the town. Many havesome heavyaccess to numerous vehicles. FAR troops have attacked Tutsi refugee camps, killedho have advocated that refugees return to Rwanda, and robbed relief convoys.
Several kilometers south of Bukavu,AR soldiers are encamped. |
There are well0 Hutu militiamen inZaire: many act as enforcers for Hutu citrcmisu. kill moderate Hutus. and hinder relief operations. The militiamen arc particularly well organized in the Goma area where, along with ei-polticians^hev coorrol food distribution in severals H
airian troops in theincluding as manyf President Mobutu's
In addition, the presence of moreand Burundian Hutu refugees in Sud-Klvu near the Burundian border it undermining security in that rcj onhe Hutu refugees -santi-Tutsi insurgents andase of support for etirem.st Hutu forces inside Burundi. HH^^^
JB u ave demanded that Wenem relief agencies move ihefrom the bonier and strenuously objected when additional refugees were relocated to the area from camps around Coma in mid-October.
Burundian Army troops have crossed into Zairelime* since mid October in pursuit of Hutu guerrilli
Delivery Hurdles In Addition to health arid seevrity problems in the camps, humanitarian organization! face the togiilie challenge of transportingetric tons of food petwell mi medicine am! otherlong distances to remote locations. Because overlandtween the Ki*ui and the rest of Zaire are not good, theare concentrated along Zaire's easternSupplied via the Eastrail and road corridors from ports on the Indian Ocean that aremm from thelthough twor trredst"x! BAavj. logiUic experts indicaie that they lack the capacity ioarge volume of relief goods. IfffJI
Coma, whxh is supplied largely from Mombasa via Uganda and Rwanda, is more accessible than Bukavu. which is suppliedrom the port of Dar es Salaam via Bujumbura. Moreover, the roads and the air-held that serve Goma are in better condition and can sustain greater volumes of traffic than can those thai serve Bukavu. Uvira it (applied viam of nrljuvely good road from Bujumbura or via barge from the Tanza-man port of Kigoma on,Lake Tanganyika; relief officials believe that Kalundum south of Uvira.etric tons of !ood per day. The need io irans ship many cf :rte goods io Bukavu and Uvira increases the probability of logjams and costly
Once the aid reaches eastern Zaire, distribution isby poor primary and secondary roads, which deteriorate under the heavy (low of goods andrains. Facilities a: the lake ports of Goma and Bukavu are also limited. Moreover, refugees in the Bukavu area ate dispersedelatively largecerjsible camps.
Fuel supply and storage problems compound these transport difficulties:
Petrolcunvbased fuels must be trucked overland to the Kivus from Kenya via Uganda. Rwanda, or
Probtrmi Bejond the Immediate Crisis
Demographic and Ethnic Pressures
The expected prolonged icfugee presence in the Kivus is likely to aggravate local demographic pressures. The eauemmost portions of Nord-Kivu and Sud-Kivu are among the most densely populated in Africa:resemble those that existed in adjacent portions of Rwanda. The recent influx increased (he population of thewas moreillion before (he crisis, according to projections made from4ercent. Rwandanare occupying schools, churches, and common areasre disrupting com-muniiy servicestherea history of temiont between toeai resi dents and earlier waves of refugees.)
In addition, because the recent RwandanHutu andethnicpresence is playing into longstanding ethnicin the region over land ownership andstatus Other ethnicBahunde,and the Banyanga in the north andIhe Barega. and die Babcmbc in thefrequently clashed with Banyarwandanwell as with each other. Thewho began arriving in the Kivus in theestimated toercent o'opulation and arethe border zone, according to academicno dc mug tap'tic data ik tailshere
illion former Rwandans^roinlylllutm. Ii>-
reportsesurgence of ethnic violence in the
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Kinshasa and the Kivus
The Kins en politically disson! from ihe capital, thenraced back to conditions that existed in ihe colonial era The Belgians made little effortstablishhe region, preferring imuad io wort through existing tribal structures.
attempts to gain control, and local ethnic groups formed the backbone of the People's Revolutionarysmall insurgent group that challenged Kin-sliasa's authority in the area through the. Since then, the central government has made onlyheadway in increasing its control. Current Prime Minister Kengo and his predecessor claim roots in the Kivus, but neither has public support in the region.
ethnic groups and the Banyarwanda. who enjoyed full citizenship until President Mobutu insisted1 that citizens be able to trace their rootsMobutu postponed elections in Nord- and Sud-Kjvu in8 because he feared that tensions over voter eligibility would lead to violence between the Banyarwandans and Other group
The influx of refugees is harming the local economy and the environment:'
In the Bukavu area,mainstay of the localbeen disrupted. Refugees have occupied farmers' fields and have delayed faitaccording to.
Many refugees prefer cassava, bananas, goats, and chickens to UN-provided rations and are stealing from local farmers, accordingress report. Demand for local food has driven prices beyond what the local poor can pay and has enticed farmers to sell household i
Masisi area. west, of Goma, where local Hutus.bolstered by former FAR elements and the militia, are leading the right against the local Bahunde. while Zairian Tutsi are fleeing the area. Relief workersthat the violence has resulted in the deathillagers as well as the displacement0 others.
Compciition for land, an important source of ethnic rivalry, is likely to grow worse. The Banyarwanda's large numbers and traditional agricultural skills have fueled conflict with other ethnic groups over control of agricultural land. Inonflict resulted in the deaths of anan-
and the displacement of.
With national elections required byherights of the Banyarwanda are likely toajor source of ethnic tension. The issue of citizenship has frequentlyoint of contention between local
neajor source ofbeen almost complete ly halted-
Foraging refugees are depleting Use area's firewood aod its charcoal derivative, of particular concerr. is the deforestation taking place within Pare National dc Vlrunga
ukavu .irca ztc located on hillsides ami are exacerbating erosion and risking landslides.
Instability in neighboring cuunines it also aggravating economic problems:
turmoil in Rwanda has disrupted thegstanding trade with Rwanda andre exported for manufactured
' For morei) Oit thrdwoiina.vpen-tMC.
Threats to Stability
The de:cr>oration of security in the camps and clashes between refugees and local residents aretability in the Kivus and ate increasing the possibility of regional conflict. Moreover.
figure f. MudiXidei partially carer the adjacent to>"u0 hilliidi refugee camp near Bukaf ai the beginnintn,Jn' "flllM-Zai-kva an imrreiotg'/ tcntrrnrd abau'
fl (rftte refugee
Zaire remain loyal lo their commanders and aresmall-scale military operations against the new Tutsi-dominated government in Rwanda. Such operations, as well at further incursions of Hutuinto Rwanda, may well provoke retaliation by Kigali, including cross-border raids to disruptactivity. Meanwhile, the potential for andirected by extremist Hutu elements in Zaire against the Rarundian Tutsi teems io be growing.
The disorder has also inirnupied communication
every business or NCO in the bonier region had relied on Rwanda's communication! system by maintaining post office boxes, fax machines, and telephones across the border ^
' The Ki<nc hiiokt, economically iAdcpanJent of Kiathau, moi i nm ini cendueled in do*u> who than la Okifew raxloww Craval Bank.ike un 1 rv - akeastern anghftor*the nerd (or tie Kivoxportfrom the nil feircfH
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mean minimum ttmiwtiiuie
ro PreeuHiauo* (mm]
J FMAMf I A S 0 K D
TtmperotH't Prttlptiirion (mm)
I FMAMI J A S O S D
primary featjrti of Zaire's eastern border terrain are the Mitumba and Vlrunga mountain ranges and the Great Rift Valley. The Mitumbapeaksthe western arm of the Great Rift Valley; tile eastern slopes of the mountains plunge from about 2MO meters elevation to the valleyeters below Lac Kivu. the Ruiiii River that drams it, and Lake Tanganyika occupy much of the narrow Rift Valley's relatively flat floor. The broadest portion of the valley is located near Uvira. The volcanic Virjngi Range cuts across the valley to the north of Lac Kivu. where it forms the divide between the Congo and the Nile Rivers The terrain In western portions of the Kivus is hilly
The region's climate is generally mild. Because of the proximity to the equator, temperatures tary Lite throughout the year. Monthly meansCccur at lower elevations andCeters. For most of the year, precipitationnearly ISO millimeters (mm) per month, the June-August period is drier, with rainfall varying betweenndm. Precipitation increases near the lakes and at higher elevations By comparison, temperatures in Washington. DC. range fromn JanuaryC in July, and monthlyaveragesjl
Natural vegetation throughout the region varie> with local climate and soil conditions:
Mosses and herbs grow on the younger lava Rows fmm ihe Virunga Range, which cover the plaint north of Goma. whi le shrubs and trees grow on the older flows.
Where unaltered by cultivation, the Rift Valley floor is covered mainly with short grass, flowering plants, cactus-like plants, small acacia trees, and palms. Along the streams there are fnnge forests of spiny date palms; in areas of poor drainage, elephant grass and reeds grow
Natural vegetation on the walls of the valley change as elevation, rainfall, and humiditygran, to deaduous forest, to evergreen finest with denie undergrowth, to bamboo forests at the highest elevations. On the western slopes of the Mitumbas. the sequence is much the same except thai here the grassy hills become tropical rain forest as they descend westward into the Congo
Eastern Zaire's Natural Hazards
population or the region is vulnerablethree main naturaleruptions, highof carbon dioxide (CQJ gases, and the degassing of lake waters |
Two volcanoes, Vokan Nyiragongo andNya-mulagira. are located near Goma and area refugee camps and have been active frequently during Ihe pastrecently during the summer ofAccording to scientists, the principal dangers posed by the volcanoes are twofold:
ajor eruption may occur with littleand lava could quickly engulf an extensive area. The magma tint feeds both volcanoes is unusually fluid; duringast major enaptionake of molten lava burst through severalin the volcano's flanks simultaneously and moved over the countryside at more than SO Lilo-meters (km) per hour,uJJal moli
geriic-mreatening eruption occurring over the next few momhs had diminished.
Second, ash plumes from the volcanoes couldaii relief operations.outh African aircraft lost two of its four engines when the pilot failed to detect small panicles from the volcano's ash plume and Dew the plane through ii
' C- I)* in Biupi-in occurrtd in fteone of the Nriraconno CiMtn it wii fotlowoJ byinufJ lavs lb> frvto UkIn! el Nymu'i|ifioa4 )ulf.mwntm'ijMnriiaiti iml iietn pkwws oa loerai occaMons. oa iirtirorc wet* Tell in Ck Cocn* area. follows)Jiys bttf ft^lOvn Cm-.hslope ofya jHj
Moreover, lava fountains from the volcanoes can also spew ligc qoaotitxsossy volcanic ath over broad areas. After an eruption earlier this year, aof cattle died from ingesting such sharp ash fjfgf,
A second naturally occurring ihrca: is the presence ofn low-lying areas near the shores of Lac Kivu. Typically.hich is highly soluble, poses little threat, i: is dissolved in groundwater and transported to the surface at soda springs. If. however, there is not enough groundwater to dissolve thehe gas can escape into the atmosphere through dry gas ventsecause the gas is heavier than air. it flows inio natural depressions, basements, or excavations where it can accumulate in lethalanger ofkji and within some proposed refugee camps,along the Goma.Soke road |
A third but more remote natural ihreat is that of degos-sing from Lac Kivu. The lake contains vast quantities of dissolved CO: and methane that could be released inio the atmosphere in the eventajorsuchubsurfaceava flow into the lake, or an eruption on the lake bottom At present levels of saturation, however, scientists estimateegassing of the lake could not occur unletsisturbance triggered the movement of deep water many tens of meters
' Ai ihM Mac. noillble rcgardiae. how clow Hi
kMHilif lac utipjt't of Uk sudden mimve ijpci of jji eniiiiior thai occurred in Ave vol-came binUtComeiuon mine^
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Agricultural Production in Zaire's KJvu Regions
H A'UtTvt ZAIRE
i ananas, com,
b-bm potatoes, and civwa Bean, sweet potatoes, arO caw<n
O GiWiona (qiiinnc)Papwn s Suaatans
mo" impwtam fort cropi ,re
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believe that the decline in crop yields can be reversed by increasing the use ol agricultural inputs and by introducing fanners to modern cropping tech-
industry and mining
industries in nord- and sud-kivu are based primarily on the processing of agricultural products for export coma has tea- and coffee-processing plants. bukavureweryharmaceutical factory thatquinine, and uvira has cotton and sugar mills. in addition, rour, textiles, cement, meat and ash products. and tobacco are produced for local consumption. M
both tin and gold arc mined in the region. the society miniere et fndustrielle du kivua labor force ofnthe largest local mining company,"
tin is its primary output, but the company also extracts gold at two sud-kivu mines, which produce ii's
bin addition, niobium, tan-lalum. anch!rig5teriare^tiined in the kivus, although low world market prices and zaire's economic and political troubles have slowed mineral production and have resulted in layoffs.b
The lourisl industry in (he Ktvus is not welldespite the legion's pleasant climate,volcanic peaks, scenic rift valley lakes, abundance of wildlife, and the presence of two of Zaire's seveniegaOO-sq-km Vtrunga.ercent of the population was employed in tourism, accordingovemmeni of Zaire publication |
The limited tourism in thegorillabeen hurt hy the influx of refugees. Bukavu andpoints for excursions to gorilla habitats in the nationalseveral refugee camps along the roads to the takeoff points for
tain gorilla sanctuary north of Goma To date, there is no indication that the refugee presence hot affected the health or the habitat of the endanuered mountain gorillas, according to press reports, althoughfear that disease from the camps or an insurgency launched from ihe Goma area might threaten them. |
Power and Energy Resources
The region's most important sources of electricity are the two hydroelectric plants on theiver, both of which straddle the border with Rwanda:
Ruiiii I.aximum capacitycame on line8nt:ca!ly in need of refurbishing
I,aximum capacityas completed only five years ago but.
Zaiie and Rwanda split electrical oupul amiresponsibilities for Ruiiti I. while Ruiiii Us output is split by Zaire. Rwanda, and Burundi. As ofoor upkeep had reduced power generation atoercent of capacity and at Ruiiii II toercent, furthermore, drought conditions in recent years have left insufficient water in the reservoirs,outf
from the two facilities to Bukavu and Goma is rare,
Additional sources of electricity in Nord- and Sud-Kivu include several small hydroelectric plantsandful of diescl-powered facilities. All but the Goma dVsel plan! supplynly lo individualenterprise! and/or conuncaities The Goma plant oflcr. Jacks fuel and is in need o' maintenance.
electricity is avail-able to lessercent of the inhabitants of ihe Kivu region.|
Methane gas ii iherergyihe methane reserves roundre among the largest of this type in the
uccessful, albeit small, methanefacility lo support the Gisenyi brewery. Zaire has only conducted initial feasibility studies, |
Two other resources arc geothermal energy andThe numerous active volcanoes and cinder cones north of Lac Kivu are evidences of the potential for geotnerma: energy development. Further south, preliminary geological surveys conducted in the delta of the Ruiin River near Lake Tanganyika bft loda-cated the possible presencehlaiiiiiivlfl te reserves are yet to be tlikely to be economically
Zaire's telecommunications network is fairly well developed by African standards, bul it provides only marginally adequate service, particularly to ihe east-cm region. Deterioration of equipment, poorlack of sparehonoge of skilled personnel, and unreliable electricity supplies are major problems.)
welladio relay satellite
(REZAThUSAT) station for receiving domestic radio-and TV broadcasts. The station sends AMtation in Bukavu and TV signals to Uviraoma via microwave
lacregion's main surface waterLac Vert have been the key sources of water for refugee camps in the north; the Ruziri River, which drains Lac Kivu and empties into Lakeis an important source in the south. Also used are numerous mountain streams such as those near Katale and Rutshuru. Groundwater resources am less
and the Rutsfsunj^neysarepceenTairy good areas for ground water development, and the Bukavu and the Uvira areas reportedlyumber of naiura.
springs lhat can be tapped. _
spring yields in Bukavuubic meters per cay and In Uviraubic meters per day. Several in Bukavu. however, are geuthermal in origin and highly mineralitcd.
tones in the mountains are aho potential sources cf groundwater but have not been surveyed |Original document.