North Kivu Province
Province du Nord-Kivu
|Country||Democratic Republic of the Congo|
|• Governor||Johnny Luboya Nkashama|
|• Total||59,483 km2 (22,967 sq mi)|
|• Density||110/km2 (290/sq mi)|
|License Plate Code||CGO / 19|
The province consists of three cities—Goma, Butembo and Beni—and six territories—Beni, Lubero, Masisi, Rutshuru, Nyiragongo and Walikale. The province is home to the Virunga National Park, a World Heritage Site containing the endangered mountain gorillas.
The region is politically unstable and since 1998 has been one of the flashpoints of the military conflicts in the region.
North Kivu was the site of an Ebola epidemic, which was compounded by political instability in the region.
The frontiers of the Congo Free State were defined by the Neutrality Act during the 1885 Berlin Conference, in which the European powers staked out their territorial claims in Africa. The northeastern boundary of the Congo Free State in 1885 was defined as "a straight line coming from the northern end of Lake Tanganyika and ending at a point located on the 30th east meridian and at 1° 20' south latitude; further north, the border is formed by the 30th meridian east." On this basis, all of Lake Kivu and both banks of the Ruzizi River were in the Free State.
In June 1909 John Methuen Coote started the Kivu frontier incident when he travelled southwest from the British Uganda Protectorate and established fortified camps at Burungu and Rubona on Lake Kivu. British troops under Coote withdrew from the Rubona post on 29 June 1909, and the Belgians occupied the post. After a series of incidents the boundaries of the Congo, Uganda and Rwanda were settled in May 1910, with the eastern part of Kivu assigned to Uganda and the German colony of Rwanda.
Laurent Nkunda was offered the rank of Brigadier General and command of the new Congo Government's FARDC Eighth Military Region, covering North Kivu, by DRC government decree 019/2003 of August 19, 2003. However, he refused to take up the post. On May 26, 2004, General Obed Wibasira (RCD-Goma) was named to the position. However, Wibasira was suspected of complicity with the soldiers in Goma who had triggered a mutiny in Bukavu in February 2004, and on January 23, 2005, he was switched with Gabriel Amisi Kumba, at the time commander of the Fifth Military Region in Kasaï-Oriental. Gabriel Amisi Kumba was named as a Brigadier General when taking up the post. General Louis Ngizo, a former commander of the Rally for Congolese Democracy, was appointed a commander in November 2006. However he was of little influence compared to powerful military figures from Kinshasa, U.S. diplomats said in comments released via WikiLeaks. Brigadier General Vainqueur Mayala was transferred from command of the Ituri operational zone, promoted to Major General, and appointed military region commander in May 2007. Ngizo left Goma on May 13, 2007, his next posting not being known at the time. During late 2008, the FARDC maintained its dismal record in combat against Laurent Nkunda's CNDP faction, losing the Rumangabo military camp to the rebels.
The dissident Mai-Mai 85th Brigade, commanded by Colonel Samy Matumo, controlled the cassiterite mine at Bisie, just north of Manoire in Walikale, in the south-east of North Kivu. The former RCD-K/ML also has fighters in the province; 'at the beginning of the transition [2002-3] the RCD-Mouvement de Libération president declared he had 8-10,000 Armée Patriotic Congolaise (APC) troops in the Beni-Lubero area of North Kivu.’ This exaggerated figure now seems to have been reduced to ‘several thousand’ (2-4,000?) as of early 2006 following demobilizations and men joining the integrated brigades.
Approximate correspondence between historical and current provinceEdit
|Belgian Congo||Republic of the Congo||Zaire||Democratic Republic of the Congo|
|22 districts||4 provinces||6 provinces||6 provinces||21 provinces + capital||8 provinces + capital||8 provinces + capital||11 provinces||11 provinces||26 provinces|
North Kivu borders Lake Edward to its east with Uganda and Lake Kivu to its southeast with Rwanda. The Virunga Mountains extends through the province. The mountain range is the site of the volcanoes Mount Nyiragongo and Nyamuragira, where approximately 40% of Africa's volcanic activity takes place, and Virunga National Park, which hosts mountain gorillas, an endangered species.
Human rights issuesEdit
In October 2007, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) warned of an increasing number of internally displaced people (IDP) in North Kivu related to the fighting there between the government army, the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) rebels and renegade troops, including Laurent Nkunda's forces, and a build-up of military supplies and forces, including the reported recruitment of child soldiers by armed groups across North Kivu. The UNHCR thought that there were over 370,000 people in North Kivu displaced since December 2006, and is expanding its camps in the Mugunga area where over 80,000 IDPs were estimated. The brief capture of Goma, by M23 rebels caused "tens of thousands" of refugees. The town of Sake was abandoned.
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