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IDP testimonies, May 28th 2009

May 28, 2009

I took these two testimonies today in an IDP camp in the outskirts of Goma.

Silvie (45 years old).

“I came from Kiniangutu town, Masisi, in January 2008. We escaped me and my five children.
Life in the camps is very difficult. IDPs are neglected. When we were given the plastic sheeting we were told that they would change it every six months. It´s been two years with the same sheeting now. When it rains we get wet. The NFI they gave us are used and we sleep on the rocks.
The food we receive, 6 kg per person, is completely insufficient. In my town of origin this was the ration for one day.

War continues in my place of origin. The FDLR is there. People from Nyabiondo, as well as from Ufamandu, come and tell me how things are going over there.
My children here in the camp are 13, 11 and 8 years old. Two others are in a host family in Goma.
My husband died five years ago, in the war. We were in our field. The FDLR came and took him as prisoner. Since then, I have not seen him anymore. Although I have not seen his body, I think he is dead. When they take the people they ask them to carry things and later they kill them. I heard news that they had burned our house.
Here in the camp there are people that returned to Mweso and Kashuga and then came back because they realized there was no security. Kalembe, for instance, is an empty town, there is no one there. Everyone from Kalembe is now in Mweso.
There are places where people can return, though, like Sake.
We want peace in order to return home. Here they give us corn flower, something which we don´t eat at home. We used it at home just to make a beverage and we find ourselves eating it here as main dish”.

***

Alain (50 years old)

“I come from Ufamandu, in Masisi. There is people there being killed right now, while you and me are talking. People are killed just like that. All these people doing evil hide in the forests in our place of origin.Too many people in our town are armed.
The living conditions in the camps are terrible. We don´t receive enough food. It comes late and it´s not enough.
We would like to return because the living conditions in the camps are very bad. The sheetings are old. But when we ask for them no one cares.

I am an IDP since 1995. First, I left Ufamandu towards Walikale. Then, in 1996, I had to flee to Bukavu. Later to Minova (98) and then Kiroche (2000). In 2006 I had to leave again. All my goods were taken and I escaped to Goma by boat.
I have always fled with my wife and children. My nine children are here in the camp. The youngest is 2 years old and the oldest is 19.
I can return, but where? People return but after civilians start to suffer again. Once we harvest, it is normal that armed men (FDLR, thieves, looters) come at night and take everything.
My younger brothers arrived from Ufamandu three days ago with their families. Between the 9th and 13th, three members of their family were killed: two young girls aged 19 and 17, and a boy of 11. They were at home when robbers came and killed them with machetes. They arrived here on the 24th. They are temporarily in a neighbourhood in Goma.

People from Sake, Karuba, Matanda, Minova… can return home. But I can´t”.

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