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.[3]

Ville de Butembo
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 DR Congo
ProvinceNorth Kivu
City status2001
CommunesBulengera, Kimemi, Mususa, Vulamba
 • MayorSylvain Kanyamanda Mbusa
 • Total190.34 km2 (73.49 sq mi)
1,750 m (5,740 ft)
 • Total354,621[1]
Time zoneUTC+2 (Central Africa Time)
Taken from the Airtel building. This picture was taken before the road was painted with lanes.


Butembo is 90% populated by the Nande tribe,[4] a community distinguished by ethnic solidarity, conservative moral standards and influential leaders.[5]

The city is home to the 2nd Integrated Brigade of the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo,[6] the Institut Kambali,[7] founded in 1959,[8] the Université catholique du Graben [fr] (UCG), founded in 1989,[9] and the Adventist University of Lukanga (UNILUK), founded in 1979.


Ebola broke out in August 2018 in North Kivu province. A series of attacks on Ebola treatment centers in Butembo led up to the death of a policeman in March 2019 and of a doctor in April 2019.[10][11] Locals mistakenly believe aid workers brought the virus to the area.[11] More than 102,000 people received an experimental vaccine in this period,[12] but 843 of 1300 confirmed and probable Ebola patients died.[11] Treatment centers were earlier torched in Butembo and Katwa, and medical professionals threatened to strike.[13]


  1. ^ "DR Congo Population 2021 (Demographics, Maps, Graphs)".
  2. ^ Al Katanty, Djaffar; Jabkhiro, Juliette (8 May 2019). "Clashes in Ebola-affected Congo city kill at least nine". REUTERS. Retrieved 24 August 2019.
  3. ^ "Superficie et densié de la population en 2013". Bulletin Annuel des Statistiques Sociales, Province du Nord-Kivu (2013): 19. November 2014.
  4. ^ http://africanajournal.org/wp-content/uploads/Economic-Empowerment-without-the-State-Lesson-from-the-Nandei-AFRICANA-Vol5-No2.pdf[bare URL PDF]
  5. ^ Laura Seay (July 31, 2015). "Why one city in Congo is astonishingly stable and prosperous". The Washington Post.
  6. ^ MONUC via Reliefweb, RD Congo : Rapport mensuel des droits de l'homme - juillet 2007
  7. ^ La dernière enveloppe By Pierre Mumbere Mujomba, Editions Lansman, 2002
  8. ^ "Butembo: Plus de 3 560 diplômés depuis 60 ans d'existence du Collège Kambali". 4 October 2019.
  9. ^ "Université Catholique du Graben (website)". Archived from the original on 2019-04-25. Retrieved 2009-10-01.
  10. ^ "DR Congo arrests 11 over murder of doctor fighting Ebola". Nairobi: Daily Nation. Agence France-Presse. April 26, 2019.
  11. ^ a b c "Attackers Kill Doctor at Hospital in Congo's Ebola Epicenter". VOA. Associated Press. April 19, 2019.
  12. ^ "Attackers kill doctor at hospital in Congo's Ebola epicenter". Federal News Network. 2019-04-19. Retrieved 2019-05-14.
  13. ^ Rebecca Ratcliffe (February 28, 2019). "Arsonists attack Ebola clinics in DRC as climate of distrust grows: Health agencies re-evaluate approach after attacks on treatment centres in North Kivu". The Guardian. Retrieved April 26, 2019.

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