Forced Flight : A Brutal Strategy of Elimination in Eastern Zaire

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.

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