[Mapping Report 2/3] DRC: in Kisangani, pain and persistent questions

Audio 02:19

A street in downtown Kisangani (photo illustration).

CC / Creative Commons / Piet Clement

By: Patient Ligodi Follow

6 min

More than 700 civilians died from June 5 to 10, 2000 in Kisangani following heavy weapons clashes between the Rwandan and Ugandan armies.

Even today, the traces of this violence are still there and the pain still alive.


Monsignor Samuel Lotika has graying hair and well-worn glasses.

The provincial president-bishop of the Church of Christ in the Congo barely hides his tearful eyes at the mention of the six-day war.


The first shell came to fall in the classroom where my son was studying.

Many of the students were dead.

It was also believed that my son was dead, but he only caught shrapnel.

Seriously injured, he was lying among the corpses,

 ”he recalls.

Her son was traumatized.

He could not bear to stay in Kisangani after these events.

By following the waterway, he succeeded, a few months later, in finding other displaced people in the north of the country, in the province of Equateur, before reaching Kinshasa.

► To read also: Ten years after its publication, the autopsy of the Mapping report

Lotika Philemon's children did not have the same luck.


I was 200 meters from my house.

I saw people running.

I heard a loud noise.



It was around 10 a.m.

The first bomb fell on my house, it was on avenue Dépotoir n °

15, in the town of Tshopo.

I run.

I arrive home, I find all the neighbors crying.

The messed up house, the kids inside.

I saw the corpses on the ground, my three children.

One was 11 years old, the other 7 years old and the last 2 years old,

 ”recounts Lotika Philemon.

Unanswered questions

Years later, the pain is still there, so are the questions.

Survivor, Pierre Kibaka is a human rights activist.

He has been pleading for two decades now for justice and reparation to be done, but above all, he wants the truth to come out on the real motives of these clashes on Congolese soil.


All the inhabitants of Kisangani are victims.

These criminals must tell us why they fought in the city of Kisangani.

What was the main reason that called them to leave their country to come and fight in our city




Asks Peter Kibaka.

► Also to listen

: On the front page, the 10 years of the Mapping report

An association of victims has been formed.

Its president Lema Lema Jean, who can only stand up thanks to his crutches, expects more from the current head of state.


People first shouldn't just be a slogan.

The victims of the six-day war in Kisangani are suffering.

If you walk around town in Tchopo or elsewhere, the destroyed houses still haven't been rehabilitated,

 ”he says.


Receive all the international news directly in your mailbox

I subscribe

Follow all the international news by downloading the RFI application


  • DRC

  • History

On the same subject

Africa report

[Mapping Report 1/3] DRC: Tingi Tingi, the installation of the camp and the massacre