Public Debate on the situation of IDPs in Goma: What are the real problems and what are the solutions

Submission during the Debate about accurate information on the current humanitarian crisis in North Kivu, DRC organized by Hirondelle Foundation and Media in the Conference Room of Linda Hotel, Goma –DRC on Wednesday May 22nd, 2024: What are the reel needs and what the solutions to IDPs”

Participants during the Public Debate at Linda Hotel, Goma/DRC

The three live broadcasted debate started at 10am and ended at 1pm, however instead of being a debate it was turned into information session where the representative of the Provincial Governor, the leader of IDPs and one Panelist only shared their findings to the audience. The organizers rejected ideas which aimed at a debate, and requested participants to share their life experience in camps, ask questions and make recommendations.

As organization working on this crucial programme we were highly disappointed to observe that in a Democratic Country like ours such forum was highly censored.

However based on what participants managed to express, let us point the following here:

Government should do all what is possible for people to return back to their villages,
The government should ensure physical security of people in camps,
The government should ensure people get adequate relief aid for each person,
Efforts should be deployed to also support IDPs in foster families in Goma,

Right from the beginning there was a limited understanding of who the Internally Displaced Persons are, claiming that they are all a result of the current M23/Rwanda war left out the specific component of those who left Uganda, those who moved from Ituri, those who lived in Goma and joined Camps and generally refugees who moved into camps. If we may have issues to understand the dynamics of the current forced migrants, we may not fully come up with appropriate responses to their needs.

Some actors of the Civil Society and other Political agitators continue to argue about the end of war, calling upon the Government to end the war in order to encourage of the IDPs to their villages, we do agree with this popular demand which we also believe is legitimate, however we recall that such move may push many actors to forget about the daily challenges which IDPs are facing and reduce efforts to address these daily challenges. Before IDP go back they must live today, they must have food, shelter, clean water, adequate medical treatment, and stay in security and fully protected.

After our intense work with IDPs in camps we observed the close connection between life in Camp, vulnerability, destitution and poverty which they faced while in their villages before the war, and unfortunately their return does not guarantee that they will not live in poverty in their villages. We do argue that the priority should be poverty reduction among IDPs and this should be done now. Once interventions on poverty reduction are put in place then we shall also reduce the tensions in which some residents of Goma also have moved into IDP Camps. We should also share with the public that Goma is occupied by 70% of people who have history of displacement in their lives, some have never benefited from programs that focus on integration and have lived in destitution over the years, such people should be criminalized for mixing up with new IDPs in camps.

The presence of armed people including armed men believed to be Government Soldiers in IDP Camps continues to be highlighted, the Military Authorities have stated their intentions to handle the situation but not much has been done. More research work needs to be done in order to understand well this question.

We strongly reject arguments which are popularly propagated praising any form of discrimination against IDPs in foster families. Those arguments should be rubbished and all IDPs should access relief aid.


As the information session focus on showing the current relief is not enough, we have observed that attention should also be put on how the available aid is managed. The proper management of the available relief aid is key.



Kulihoshi Musikami Pecos

Provincial Coordinator

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