Democratic Republic of the Congo​ chaos

This item appears on page 18 of the November 2009 issue.

The Rwandan government forces that entered the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in January at the invitation of the DRC government have withdrawn. Still, government soldiers, as well as rebel fighters, remain a concern.

These armed groups, located especially in North Kivu, South Kivu, Orientale, northern Katanga and Bas-Congo, are known to pillage, steal vehicles, kidnap, rape and kill. Travelers are frequently detained at roadblocks. Requests for bribes are common, and security forces have injured or killed people refusing to pay.

In Kinshasa, travelers continue to be the victims of serious crime, including armed robbery by groups posing as law enforcement.

Outbreaks of deadly viruses and diseases can occur and often are not rapidly reported by local health authorities. In January in western Kasai, 11 people died and more than 120 were exposed in an ebola fever outbreak.

Due to safety concerns, the US Embassy prohibits employees from flying on all DRC-owned and -operated commercial airlines.