Lucius Fox

Chief Executive Officer of Wayne Enterprises

doctorswithoutborders:

Photo: Refugees in Kanyaruchinya, where thousands of people displaced by violence have settled. DRC 2012 © Aurelie Baumel/MSF

DRC: “These People are Completely Dispossessed”
An interview with our head of mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where panic and fear in the wake of an advance by rebels on Goma is beginning to subside.

What’s the situation where you are?

At the moment I’m in Rutshuru, the M23 stronghold, the eye of the cyclone. The situation right now is rather quiet. In Goma, things have been calming down slowly since the fighting ended and the gunfire has stopped. Yesterday there were about 100 wounded, both civilians and military actors; their wounds mostly from gunfire and shrapnel. The exact number of dead is still unknown but there are bodies in the streets.

People remain fearful and the shops are still all closed, and there’s no electricity or water anymore. There’s also a clear need for surgical support. A lot of people who were displaced in July during the fall of Rutshuru to the M23, and who settled on the edge of the city in Kanyaruchinya, have gone to Goma or westward to Sake. They say that more than 55,000 people are on the move.

What are you seeing in the streets, the camps, the hospitals?

Kanyaruchinya camp is empty. Since the fighting stopped, some people have come back up from the city to Rutshuru, their home turf. It’s worth noting that these people are completely dispossessed—before this new wave of violence, the camp wasn’t being maintained properly, so people were already in a state of utter destitution.

I imagine that very soon the shops will open up again and that the city will come back to life. But we are talking about a serious shock here, and trust and the general atmosphere will take a while to stabilize, all the more so as people are now talking about a counter-attack.

What’s MSF doing to respond to this emergency?

We’re putting a surgical support team in place in Goma, and we’re also working with the displaced people. Today, we’re able to work more or less as normal, but our teams are of course stressed out and worried. This is literally a regime change—how’s the city going to function tomorrow? The International Committee of the Red Cross has also got a surgical team here, but a lot of organizations have evacuated so it’s a matter of waiting for them to return.

Of course, we’re not waiting—we’re working! The health facilities are still working, so MSF isn’t there to take care of all needs but rather to provide support. As concerns the displaced, the situation should be monitored closely, as we’re seeing some come back to Rutshuru rather than resettling in Kanyaruchinya. Something to keep an eye on.

What are the most significant challenges for you as MSF?

The most difficult thing is getting expatriate staff to Goma as the context is changing quickly. The logistical constraints to reaching certain areas can also complicate our efforts to size up needs or set up activities. For example we wanted to get to certain displaced camps by going round the lake by way of Bukavu, but that’s not possible for the moment. The most important thing for us is still the security of MSF staff and of the patients. 

Posted at 11:15am and tagged with: Humanitarian Crisises, Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC, République démocratique du Congo, Rwanda, Republic of Rwanda, Repubulika y'u Rwanda, République du Rwanda,.

doctorswithoutborders:

Photo: Refugees in Kanyaruchinya, where thousands of people displaced by violence have settled. DRC 2012 © Aurelie Baumel/MSF
DRC: “These People are Completely Dispossessed”An interview with our head of mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where panic and fear in the wake of an advance by rebels on Goma is beginning to subside.
What’s the situation where you are?
At the moment I’m in Rutshuru, the M23 stronghold, the eye of the cyclone. The situation right now is rather quiet. In Goma, things have been calming down slowly since the fighting ended and the gunfire has stopped. Yesterday there were about 100 wounded, both civilians and military actors; their wounds mostly from gunfire and shrapnel. The exact number of dead is still unknown but there are bodies in the streets.
People remain fearful and the shops are still all closed, and there’s no electricity or water anymore. There’s also a clear need for surgical support. A lot of people who were displaced in July during the fall of Rutshuru to the M23, and who settled on the edge of the city in Kanyaruchinya, have gone to Goma or westward to Sake. They say that more than 55,000 people are on the move.
What are you seeing in the streets, the camps, the hospitals?
Kanyaruchinya camp is empty. Since the fighting stopped, some people have come back up from the city to Rutshuru, their home turf. It’s worth noting that these people are completely dispossessed—before this new wave of violence, the camp wasn’t being maintained properly, so people were already in a state of utter destitution.
I imagine that very soon the shops will open up again and that the city will come back to life. But we are talking about a serious shock here, and trust and the general atmosphere will take a while to stabilize, all the more so as people are now talking about a counter-attack.
What’s MSF doing to respond to this emergency?
We’re putting a surgical support team in place in Goma, and we’re also working with the displaced people. Today, we’re able to work more or less as normal, but our teams are of course stressed out and worried. This is literally a regime change—how’s the city going to function tomorrow? The International Committee of the Red Cross has also got a surgical team here, but a lot of organizations have evacuated so it’s a matter of waiting for them to return.
Of course, we’re not waiting—we’re working! The health facilities are still working, so MSF isn’t there to take care of all needs but rather to provide support. As concerns the displaced, the situation should be monitored closely, as we’re seeing some come back to Rutshuru rather than resettling in Kanyaruchinya. Something to keep an eye on.
What are the most significant challenges for you as MSF?
The most difficult thing is getting expatriate staff to Goma as the context is changing quickly. The logistical constraints to reaching certain areas can also complicate our efforts to size up needs or set up activities. For example we wanted to get to certain displaced camps by going round the lake by way of Bukavu, but that’s not possible for the moment. The most important thing for us is still the security of MSF staff and of the patients. 

crisisgroup:

War looms once again in Congo | The Washington Post 

By Editorial Board

ONE OF THE globe’s worst killing fields is once again aflame. The eastern region of Congo was the epicenter of two wars in the past 15 years that laid waste to an estimated 5 million lives — many lost to hunger and disease that followed in the footsteps of armed conflict.

On Tuesday, a rebel group, M23, seized the provincial capital of Goma as Congolese army forces and U.N. peacekeepers fell back. The fighting has intensified an already dire humanitarian crisis. Since the beginning of this year, more than 650,000 people have been uprooted in the regions of North and South Kivu. A series of fragile peace agreements reached in recent years are in tatters.

FULL ARTICLE (The Washington Post)

Photo: Uniest Nations Photo/Flickr 

Posted at 12:20pm and tagged with: Humanitarian Crisises, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC, République démocratique du Congo, United Nations,.

crisisgroup:

War looms once again in Congo | The Washington Post 
By Editorial Board
ONE OF THE globe’s worst killing fields is once again aflame. The eastern region of Congo was the epicenter of two wars in the past 15 years that laid waste to an estimated 5 million lives — many lost to hunger and disease that followed in the footsteps of armed conflict.
On Tuesday, a rebel group, M23, seized the provincial capital of Goma as Congolese army forces and U.N. peacekeepers fell back. The fighting has intensified an already dire humanitarian crisis. Since the beginning of this year, more than 650,000 people have been uprooted in the regions of North and South Kivu. A series of fragile peace agreements reached in recent years are in tatters.
FULL ARTICLE (The Washington Post)
Photo: Uniest Nations Photo/Flickr 

crisisgroup:

Black Gold in the Congo: Threat to Stability or Development Opportunity? | International Crisis Group

Kinshasa/Nairobi/Brussels  |   11 Jul 2012


Renewed oil interest in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) could nurture communal resentments, exacerbate deep-rooted conflict dynamics and weaken national cohesion.

Black Gold in the Congo: Threat to Stability or Development Opportunity?, the latest report from the International Crisis Group, warns of a potential “oil curse” in the still vulnerable country. Oil exploration in the east and the Central Basin could aggravate conflict in the high-risk areas of the Kivus, and feed secessionist tendencies in a context of failed decentralisation and financial discontent between the central state and the provinces. If confirmed, oil discoveries could redefine the country’s geopolitics, and notably question mineral-rich Katanga’s political influence.

“In the context of a general oil rush in Central and East Africa, the lack of clearly defined borders, especially in the Great Lakes region, poses significant risk for maintaining regional stability”, says Marc-André Lagrange, Crisis Group’s Central Africa Senior Analyst. “Oil reserves straddling the country’s borders with Uganda and Angola have already caused tension”.

Eastern DRC is plagued by rebel groups that are already illegally exploiting natural resources, along with the Congolese army. The April 2012 failed mutiny by General Bosco Ntaganda, wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes since 2006, and the emergence of a new armed group (M23) are illustrations of this longstanding instability. In the west, while offshore oil production for Angola started several years ago, Kinshasa is contesting the definition of maritime borders.

In addition, poor governance has been the hallmark of the oil sector since exploration resumed. Black gold is the main source of government revenue and yet, with exploration in full swing, oil sector reform is several years behind schedule. Instead of creating a transparent legal framework and robust institutions, the previous governments behaved like speculators.

The state’s failure to adequately regulate the diverging and potentially conflicting interests of companies and poor communities is fuelling resentment, which could easily flare up into local violence. Exploration blocks include natural parks and a World Heritage Site.

Regionally, the government should work with neighbouring countries and the African Union to design a management model for cross-border reserves and launch a border demarcation program. Nationally, it should reform the oil sector and declare a moratorium on exploration in unstable areas, especially in the east, and involve provinces in the main management decisions concerning this resource.

“In a context of massive poverty, a weak state, poor governance and regional insecurity, an oil rush will have a strong destabilising effect”, says Thierry Vircoulon, Crisis Group’s Central Africa Project Director. “To avert such a devastating scenario, the government should, at the regional level, favour dialogue with its neighbours to solve border disputes, and, at the national level, regulate oil exploitation to improve governance and accountability”. 

FULL REPORT

Posted at 2:24pm and tagged with: Democratic Republic of Congo, République démocratique du Congo, DRC, Oil, Energy,.

crisisgroup:

Black Gold in the Congo: Threat to Stability or Development Opportunity? | International Crisis Group
Kinshasa/Nairobi/Brussels  |   11 Jul 2012
Renewed oil interest in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) could nurture communal resentments, exacerbate deep-rooted conflict dynamics and weaken national cohesion.Black Gold in the Congo: Threat to Stability or Development Opportunity?, the latest report from the International Crisis Group, warns of a potential “oil curse” in the still vulnerable country. Oil exploration in the east and the Central Basin could aggravate conflict in the high-risk areas of the Kivus, and feed secessionist tendencies in a context of failed decentralisation and financial discontent between the central state and the provinces. If confirmed, oil discoveries could redefine the country’s geopolitics, and notably question mineral-rich Katanga’s political influence.“In the context of a general oil rush in Central and East Africa, the lack of clearly defined borders, especially in the Great Lakes region, poses significant risk for maintaining regional stability”, says Marc-André Lagrange, Crisis Group’s Central Africa Senior Analyst. “Oil reserves straddling the country’s borders with Uganda and Angola have already caused tension”.Eastern DRC is plagued by rebel groups that are already illegally exploiting natural resources, along with the Congolese army. The April 2012 failed mutiny by General Bosco Ntaganda, wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes since 2006, and the emergence of a new armed group (M23) are illustrations of this longstanding instability. In the west, while offshore oil production for Angola started several years ago, Kinshasa is contesting the definition of maritime borders.In addition, poor governance has been the hallmark of the oil sector since exploration resumed. Black gold is the main source of government revenue and yet, with exploration in full swing, oil sector reform is several years behind schedule. Instead of creating a transparent legal framework and robust institutions, the previous governments behaved like speculators.The state’s failure to adequately regulate the diverging and potentially conflicting interests of companies and poor communities is fuelling resentment, which could easily flare up into local violence. Exploration blocks include natural parks and a World Heritage Site.Regionally, the government should work with neighbouring countries and the African Union to design a management model for cross-border reserves and launch a border demarcation program. Nationally, it should reform the oil sector and declare a moratorium on exploration in unstable areas, especially in the east, and involve provinces in the main management decisions concerning this resource.“In a context of massive poverty, a weak state, poor governance and regional insecurity, an oil rush will have a strong destabilising effect”, says Thierry Vircoulon, Crisis Group’s Central Africa Project Director. “To avert such a devastating scenario, the government should, at the regional level, favour dialogue with its neighbours to solve border disputes, and, at the national level, regulate oil exploitation to improve governance and accountability”. 
FULL REPORT

May 26th 2012

Reblogged from voa60news|1 note

voa60news:

Today’s VOA60 Africa

Somalia: Civilians flee as African Union forces advance on al-Shabab stronghold west of Mogadishu.
 
DRC: Responding to renewed fighting in eastern DRC, UN sends in more troops to protect civilians.
 
Mali: Spokesman says the transitional government remains focused on organizing elections and resolving Tuareg rebellion in the north.
 
Egypt: Turnout is lighter in the second and final day of voting for president.
 
South Sudan: Archivists battle heat, humidity and termites to save documents relating to new country’s colonial past.

Kenya: As mysterious disease hits bees in Europe and America, Kenya’s beekeepers are hoping their bees can fill the honey gap.

Posted at 1:00pm and tagged with: Africa, Somalia, DRC, Democratic Republic of Congo, République démocratique du Congo, Somali Republic, Jamhuuriyadda Soomaaliya, جمهورية الصومال, Jumhūriyyat aṣ-Ṣūmāl, Mali, Republic of Mali, République du Mali, Mali ka Fasojamana, Egypt, Arab Republic Of Egypt, جمهورية مصر العربية,.

doctorswithoutborders:

After arriving by canoe in Ntondo, Equateur Province, DRC, an MSF nurse screens people for malaria. The response includes screening and treating patients, and referring severe cases to the nearest health facility. — in Democratic Republic of the Congo.


Photo: Robin Meldrum/MSF

Posted at 9:07am and tagged with: malaria, africa, portrait, photojournalism, democratic republic of the congo, DRC, water, access to health care, mosquitos, malarial, parasite, msf, Doctors Without Borders, Médecins Sans Frontières, photography, child, kid, children, infant, République démocratique du Congo,.

doctorswithoutborders:

After arriving by canoe in Ntondo, Equateur Province, DRC, an MSF nurse screens people for malaria. The response includes screening and treating patients, and referring severe cases to the nearest health facility. — in Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Photo: Robin Meldrum/MSF

doctorswithoutborders:

MSF Blogs: The Flying Creatures I Sleep With

Chris Bird, a former Reuters and Guardian reporter, put down his notepad and left more than 10 years of news reporting to study medicine with the intention of returning to the front lines where he can be hands-on saving lives and alleviating the kind of suffering he once wrote about.

Here he talks about his living situation in Democratic Republic of Congo while working in the field:

We’ve taken over a compound from another aid agency as a temporary MSF base. “Compound,” however, is probably too grand a term for the small single-story building of mud, riddled with termite holes, its bare wooden beams roofed with corrugated iron and surrounded by a flimsy stockade of bamboo.

The strong smell of ammonia pervades the building as it hosts a thriving colony of bats. They’re quiet during the day but, as I turn in, they start to scratch, screech, and shuffle about after returning from sorties to feast on the copious and diverse clouds of insects that race like electrons around the bare bulbs run by a noisy diesel generator at night.

Having learned of a possible association between bats and the dreaded viral hemorrhagic fever, Ebola, I was not happy to find two of them, wings folded, clinging upside down to the mosquito net over my bed. The net is often covered with tiny black pellets each morning—bat poo.

Read his previous blog post here.

Photo: DRC 2011 © Frank Rammeloo/MSF Lulimba Hospital, in the Kimbi Lulenge health zone in South Kivu.

Posted at 1:04pm and tagged with: Democratic Republic of Congo, République démocratique du Congo, DRC, Doctors Without Borders, MSF, Medicine, Médecins Sans Frontières, Bats, Ebola, Mosquitos, Photojournalism, Journalism, Humanitarian Crisises,.

doctorswithoutborders:

MSF Blogs: The Flying Creatures I Sleep With Chris Bird, a former Reuters and Guardian reporter, put down his notepad and left more than 10 years of news reporting to study medicine with the intention of returning to the front lines where he can be hands-on saving lives and alleviating the kind of suffering he once wrote about.Here he talks about his living situation in Democratic Republic of Congo while working in the field: We’ve taken over a compound from another aid agency as a temporary MSF base. “Compound,” however, is probably too grand a term for the small single-story building of mud, riddled with termite holes, its bare wooden beams roofed with corrugated iron and surrounded by a flimsy stockade of bamboo. The strong smell of ammonia pervades the building as it hosts a thriving colony of bats. They’re quiet during the day but, as I turn in, they start to scratch, screech, and shuffle about after returning from sorties to feast on the copious and diverse clouds of insects that race like electrons around the bare bulbs run by a noisy diesel generator at night. Having learned of a possible association between bats and the dreaded viral hemorrhagic fever, Ebola, I was not happy to find two of them, wings folded, clinging upside down to the mosquito net over my bed. The net is often covered with tiny black pellets each morning—bat poo. Read his previous blog post here.Photo: DRC 2011 © Frank Rammeloo/MSF Lulimba Hospital, in the Kimbi Lulenge health zone in South Kivu.

The KONY 2012 campaign, launched by the non-profit Invisible Children to stop Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony, became an international sensation last week with its viral video, which has since become the most viral video in history, according to one researcher. In response to criticism that has surfaced against Invisible Children in light of the campaign, Invisible Children CEO Ben Keesey has released a videospecifically addressing concerns that the organization is promoting “slacktivisim” and has corrupt financial practices.

Posted at 1:43pm and tagged with: Invisble Children, Joseph Kony, KONY 2012, Charity, Human Rights, Uganda, Activism, Slacktivism, Jamhuri ya Uganda, Republic of Uganda, Republic of the Sudan, DRC, République démocratique du Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, جمهورية السودان, Jumhūrīyat as-Sūdān,.

March 13th 2012

Reblogged from good|135 notes

good:

Joseph Kony and the Moral Ambiguity of the Modern World

The backlash against the backlash against the backlash. The film everyone’s talking about reminds us that hardly anything is black and white anymore.

Who is a person interested in making the world better supposed to believe: the do-gooders, or the naysayers attempting to do good by exposing the do-gooders as frauds? It’s a difficult question, not to mention an increasingly relevant one. Kony 2012 and the dialogue it’s created can symbolize a variety of different things, from neo-colonialism to the power of social media. But in their immediate wake, what they seem to most starkly represent is the dizzying moral ambiguity of the modern world, and the frustration to which that ambiguity can lead.

Read about it on GOOD 

Posted at 2:36pm and tagged with: Media, Africa, KONY 2012, Invisible Children, Charity, New Media, Joseph Kony, Uganda, Jamhuri ya Uganda, Republic of Uganda, DRC, Democratic Republic of Congo, République démocratique du Congo, Republic of the Sudan, جمهورية السودان, Jumhūrīyat as-Sūdān,.

good:

Joseph Kony and the Moral Ambiguity of the Modern World
The backlash against the backlash against the backlash. The film everyone’s talking about reminds us that hardly anything is black and white anymore.

Who is a person interested in making the world better supposed to believe: the do-gooders, or the naysayers attempting to do good by exposing the do-gooders as frauds? It’s a difficult question, not to mention an increasingly relevant one. Kony 2012 and the dialogue it’s created can symbolize a variety of different things, from neo-colonialism to the power of social media. But in their immediate wake, what they seem to most starkly represent is the dizzying moral ambiguity of the modern world, and the frustration to which that ambiguity can lead.

Read about it on GOOD→