Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Security update on DRC/Rwanda border

Below is the latest update from Classic Africa Safaris on the situation along the border between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda.

Rwanda is generally a peaceful and stable country, which continues to be one of the safest and most secure countries to visit in Africa, despite its tragic past. However, events in neighboring DRC have recently led to updates of international travel advisories.

Security along DRC border at Gisenyi
On Monday 19 November there were reports of mortar fire directly into Rwanda sustained by stray shells from the battle between Congolese ‘M23’ rebels and government troops over control of the city of Goma, in North Kivu in neighbouring DRC. This city lies in close proximity to the Rwandan town of Gisenyi, at the northern end of Lake Kivu. Rwandan authorities are currently concentrating on managing the renewed influx of refugees from DRC. Rwanda General Joseph Nzabamwita told AFP News Agency “Rwanda is exercising restraint as of now. We are concentrating on evacuating the affected population as we continue to assess the situation.”

Classic Africa Safaris has advised against all travel to the DRC since May 2012, when the fighting started. Until further notice, we are also advising against any travel to Gisenyi town and any safaris will be re-routed accordingly until such time as things return to normal or the fighting moves further away from the Rwanda border. Safari activities in the rest of the country, including Volcanoes National Park, will continue as normal, in line with the up-to-date UK FCO Travel Advisory.

Classic Africa Safaris along with our partners in Rwanda will continue to monitor all activity in the region, and will ensure their clients are kept up to date on any changing circumstances. We will also be advising all clients in safari briefings of the chance of seeing evidence of a renewed refugee influx and heightened aid agency activity whilst travelling around Rwanda.

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