Open letter to the Governor of North Kivu DRC to demilitarize IDP Camps in the province

This letter is part of our various interventions towards iDPs in North Kivu, on top of the Emergency Response ( Short link:, we are also now advocating for their security and in long-term we also involved in peace activities which is the durable solution. Please find the original French version of the letter ” LETTRE O3 Mars 2024 sur les militaires dans des Camps PDI Germain

Copy Compliant with:

– To the Commander of the 34th Military Region, in Goma – North Kivu,

– To the Provincial President of the New Dynamics of Civil Society “NDSCI” North Kivu,

– The Principal Commissioner of the Congolese National Police in North Kivu,

– The Provincial Director of the National Intelligence Agency in North Kivu,

– The Provincial Director of the General Directorate of Migration,

– The Mayor of the City of Goma, in North Kivu,

– To the Mayor of the Municipality of Goma,

– To the Mayor of the Municipality of Karisimbi,


To His Excellency the Governor of North Kivu

In Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo,

Re: Open letter to request the demilitarization of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) Camps in and around Goma as well as the restoration of the authority of the Congolese State in the Internally Displaced Persons Camps,

Excellency Mr. Governor,

We humbly come to you in order to engage on the subject whose object is on the margins which currently concerns us.

We thus bring to your attention that for respect for humanitarian principles as well as the need to contribute to the well-being of survivors of violence and the plights of war but also the desire to keep a neutral and civil character, the Forced Migrant Camps in and around Goma deserve to be protected against any military and political activity in North Kivu.

At the same time the Government should be present in the camps to finally strengthen the authority of the State and provide services to the victims in an effective manner through specialized services such as the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs which will be able to coordinate all others interventions.

Referring to point 11 of the 2009 Kampala Declaration of the African Union in relation to the situation of Internally Displaced Persons and Forced Migrants in Africa which states “We reiterate our commitment to maintaining the civilian and humanitarian character of camps and centers which accommodate refugees and internally displaced persons”, of which the Democratic Republic of Congo is a signatory member. We therefore carried out visits to the following IDP Camps: ACOJENOKI, Bulengo, Kanyaruchinya, Lushagala, and Rusayo I during the months of January and February 2024.

We are very concerned by the following observations:

The IDP Camps are also used as shelters soldiers who are believed to be FARDC elements, women and children of soldiers who are also believed to be family members of FARDC soldiers, who move freely with their weapons, the camps also do shelter armed people who are believed to be “Volunteers for the Defense of the Country” commonly called commonly referred to as “Wazalendo”, members of several armed groups with their weapons as well as other unidentified armed people. We were also concerned about the regular movement of armed people in camps during the day and night, as well as assassinations and regular crackling of bullets during day and night in these IDP Camps as well as in some corners of the city ​​of Goma which host IDPs with host families.

We also observed with bitterness the absence of the Congolese State in the camps, especially the absence of the Congolese National Police, the absence of the National Intelligence Agency, as well as the local authority, certain IDP camps escape to be under the control of the Congolese State. The Committees of Internally Displaced Persons are composed essentially of people who have appointed themselves as Camp Leaders and whose primary motivation would be the economic interests linked to the management of humanitarian aid, and they continue to benefit from the complicity of certain authorities at different levels including the National Commission for Refugees “CNR”. Internally Displaced Persons Camps are becoming the targets of several cases of human rights violations such as killings, assassinations, rape and robbery, sexual exploitation, threats and intimidation, regular gunshots, misappropriation of humanitarian aid, embezzlement of relief aid, as well as exposure to several forms of risk,

Although we have in place the decree of the Mayor of the City of Goma “No 3072/001/F212/M-G/2023 of January 6, 2023” relating to the management of IDP camps in Goma, it seemed difficult for us to find visibility of the Congolese State Agency which is responsible for the IDP Camps, and it even seems difficult to properly define the coordination of all interventions in the camps. Beyond that we observe the politicization of IDP camps by certain political actors who continue to put people’s lives at risk. Civic activities that could help IDPs make clear demands and channel their demands for solutions are often replaced by a culture of terror and political co-opting.

Referring to all these elements above, Given the urgency of protecting Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in camps in and around Goma as well as throughout the province of North Kivu, we recommend the following:

– Remove without delay all FARDC soldiers as well as their family members (women children) in IDP camps, the wives and children of FARDC soldiers are not Internally Displaced Persons, they are rather people linked to the transfer and mutation soldiers, at the same time we also remind that IDP Camps are not places of residence for FARDC Soldiers whatever the pretext,

-To carry out urgent and regular checks in the camps to recover all firearms, and separate civilians from armed people who are members of armed groups (wazalendo, etc.),

-To strengthen the capacity of Civil Protection to be the Main Actor of the Congolese State which manages and coordinates all activities in IDP camps, this from the end of this month of March Civil Protection should be at the level to manage all the IDP Camps,

-To urgently suspend the current IDP Committees and put in place temporary workers until the organization of elections of IDP leaders to choose their representatives under the facilitation of the competent body in matters of elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo,

-To deploy Police Officers and Intelligence Agents within one week of receipt of this letter, in each IDP camp to properly secure the population and work closely with the population to properly accomplish their task,

-To harmonize intervation and equal treatment for all IDPs regardless of the camp where they find themselves, and to promote peaceful cohabitation between IDPs and host communities, thus very quickly discouraging the special treatment accorded to a group IDPs regardless of their ethnicity,

-To collaborate and create a favorable environment for Civil Society organizations, finally to contribute effectively to the protection of IDPs, thus setting up within a period of one month a framework for consultation between the authorities, humanitarians, actors of Civil Society and IDP leaders, to discuss the situation in IDP Camps,



Provincial Coordinator.



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