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Insecurity on the rise in DR Cong town of Ruzizi

Insecurity on the rise in DR Cong town of Ruzizi

Democratic Republic Of Congo

Uvira and Ruzizi, two cities located in the South Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of Congo are at the mercy of criminal gangs operating in the area.

The region is experiencing an upsurge in robberies, kidnappings and cattle theft. A worrying situation for road users who travel on that stretch to Bukavu.

“The national road number 5 has become dangerous to travel on especially on Sundays, whether it’s morning or afternoon we get looted. The bandits rob passengers by stealing all their goods, telephone; money amongst others. Customers today prefer to go through Rwanda or Burundi to get to Uvira, at least they feel safe there,” Jeannot Birindwa a driver.

"Due to the insecurity in Ruzizi passengers are robbed of their personal belongings, sometimes they get beaten by these thugs, so I prefer to go to Bujumbura to get to Uvira, there security is guaranteed compared to the other side. The government has failed in its mission to protect the population and their properties"

As a result of this detour, the price of the Bukavu-Uvira ticket through Burundi has almost tripled.

The fare which was $4 is now $15.

A passenger Selemani Idia believes : “Due to the insecurity in Ruzizi passengers are robbed of their personal belongings. Sometimes they get beaten by these thugs, so I prefer to go to Bujumbura to get to Uvira, there security is guaranteed compared to the other side. The government has failed in its mission to protect the population and their properties”

This situation has also affected trading activities on the Bukavu-Uvira route.

“We do not have the police nor the army, the bandits operate freely here, if not for their activities our businesses would have flourished,” Marcelline Kakuli, a trader.

An official at DR Congo’s Interior Ministry, Luc Milimbalimba tried to calm the fears of the population by announcing the deployment of Congolese soldiers to fight the Burundian FNL rebels accused of being the cause of the insecurity on the border with Burundi.

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