Grounds UN Council's Plane in Goma after IDP Camp
Visit, Busses to Rwanda
Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press in Africa: News Analysis
GOMA AIRPORT, June 8 -- The UN
Security Council got stranded
in Eastern Congo Sunday night, when a bullet tore through the fuselage
jet they took from Kinshasa. While for a few chaotic moments some
thought they'd been targeted by the FDLR militia, about whom they had
hearing all afternoon at the Mugunga I camp for internally displaced
But it soon emerged that local Congolese security had demanded that a
officer traveling with the Ambassador prove that his gun was empty. The
in the chamber disabled the plane, and the Ambassadors huddles around
computers in the UN terminal at the Goma Airport.
fell over the volcano that towers above Goma, and spewed down the lava
still covers one-third of the airport's runway. There was talk of
across the lake to Rwanda
for a flight, or of spending the night at the lakefront Stella Lodge,
Ambassadors earlier on Sunday met with the Mixed Commission on
militia, of which the FDLR is not a part.
camp, huts were covered with UN logo emblazened sheet plastic,
to the horizon. The ground alternated between black mud and black lava.
displaced man from Bufmamu in Masisi territory, Misheku Ernest,
war drove him and his four children from his village. They have too
there, he said. Until the guns are gone we can't go home.
Jean-Maurice Ripert waded into the crowd and said he and the Council
everything possible to allow the displaced to go home. There was
relatively spontaneous. Then a bus ride past innumerable small shops
vendors, propane tanks being wheeled on the wooden bicycles invented,
in the Great Lakes region.
fell over the Goma Airport, bus transport was being arranged to
to be picked up
there by plane. While the UN's Alan Doss earlier on the plane,
said he could neither confirm nor deny that Rwanda has supplied
general Laurent Nkunda through this very area, or even through Uganda,
would head through this same route, without plan, without visa, the
flying blind through areas it constantly discusses and votes on. The DRC Ambassador told Inner City Press it
is good the Ambassadors were in the Congo, to see and mostly
How it will inform their voting in New York remains to be seen, as do
the new travel
arrangements. Watch this site.
* * *
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