This repport, first published on 16 May 1997, deals with the deterioration of the humanitarian situation for refugees, internally displaced Zairians and the local populations in Eastern Zaire in October/November 1996, after the AFDL attacks on refugee camps.
During late October/November 1996, troops of the Alliance des Forces Démocratiques pour la Libération du Congo-Zaire (AFDL) attacked refugee camps in Eastern Zaire. In the camps, former members of the Forces Armées Rwandaises (referred to as ex-FAR) and Interahamwe had been living among the refugees, using the camps as a base for cross-border operations and intimidating the majority
of the camp population.
As a result of the attacks, humanitarian organisations were forced to leave Uvira on 22 October 1996, Bukavu on 28 October 1996 and Goma on 2 November 1996. These attacks marked the beginning of a period during which refugees, internally displaced Zairians and local populations suffered a steady deterioration of their humanitarian situation. Throughout this period, they have been victims of serious violations of international humanitarian and human rights law, including intimidation, ill-treatment and killings as well as the denial of adequate protection and assistance.