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Butembo is a city in North Kivu, in the north eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, lying west of the Virunga National Park. The city is an important commercial centre with large markets, a cathedral, multiple large hospitals, and an airport. The city is located in a region known for tea and coffee growing. As of 2013 it had an estimated population of 670,285, making it the second largest city in North Kivu.[1]

Butembo 2014.JPG
Butembo is located in Democratic Republic of the Congo
Location in Democratic Republic of the Congo
Coordinates: 00°07′40″N 29°17′15″E / 0.12778°N 29.28750°E / 0.12778; 29.28750
CountryFlag of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.svg Democratic Republic of the Congo
ProvinceNorth Kivu
 • Total190.34 km2 (73.49 sq mi)
1,381 m (4,531 ft)
 • Total670,285
 • Density3,500/km2 (9,100/sq mi)
Taken from the Airtel building. This picture was taken before the road was painted with lanes.


Butembo is 90% populated by the Nande tribe,[2] a tribe fueled by ethnic solidarity, conservative moral standards and influential leaders.[3]

The city is home to the 2nd Integrated Brigade of the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo,[4] the Université Catholique du Graben (UCG), founded in 1989,[5] and the Adventist University of Lukanga (UNILUK), founded in 1979.


  1. ^ "Superficie et densié de la population en 2013". Bulletin Annuel des Statistiques Sociales, Province du Nord-Kivu (2013): 19. November 2014.
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ Laura Seay (July 31, 2015). "Why one city in Congo is astonishingly stable and prosperous". The Washington Post.
  4. ^ MONUC via Reliefweb, RD Congo : Rapport mensuel des droits de l'homme - juillet 2007
  5. ^ Université Catholique du Graben (website)

External linksEdit

  • Butembo in Google Maps
  • YouTube Video of Nella Star (2007) Video by Godfried van Loo following Dutch sociologist/anthropologist Nella Star when going back to Butembo after over 30 years. With a lot of footage from the city Butembo and surroundings. Dutch/French spoken and subtitled.

Coordinates: 0°09′N 29°17′E / 0.150°N 29.283°E / 0.150; 29.283