The Congo-Kinshasa school is severely disadvantaged after decades of financial neglect and bloody conflicts. The children must start school at the age of six and formally the first six-year stage is compulsory. But every third or every fourth child does not attend school.
Although there has been peace in the country since 2003, violence and anxiety have continued to be an obstacle to many children’s schooling. Especially in the Kivu provinces in the east, schools have also been destroyed, looted or taken in by militia groups who have used them as places of residence and often destroyed furnishings and materials. At least a quarter of a million children are estimated to have been temporarily excluded from school due to attacks on school buildings.
Widespread poverty is also a problem. The school should be free of charge, but parents often have to pay teacher salaries and school supplies. There is a large shortage of school premises and educated teachers.
- COUNTRYAAH: Country facts of Democratic Republic of the Congo, including geography profile, population statistics, and business data.
About a third of children are expected to continue to the two-year high school and the four-year high school, mainly in the cities. More boys than girls are in the higher classes.
There are national universities Kinshasa, Lubumbashi, Kisangani and Goma, as well as a number of private and regional universities and colleges around the country, with a total of just over 500,000 students. Those who can afford often send their children to study abroad.
- Searchforpublicschools: Offers schooling information of Democratic Republic of Congo in each level – compulsory, technical and higher education programs.
FACTS – EDUCATION
Proportion of children starting primary school
36.8 percent (1999)
Number of pupils per teacher in primary school
Reading and writing skills
77.0 percent (2016)
Public expenditure on education as a percentage of GDP
10.8 percent (2017)
Public expenditure on education as a percentage of the state budget
10.8 percent (2017)
UNHCR: One million people have been forced to flee since the turn of the year
The violence in eastern Congo-Kinshasa has been forcing over a million people to flee their homes since the beginning of the year, according to the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR, which at the same time expresses great concern that armed groups are increasingly attacking the refugees. The most vulnerable in the last two months are Djugu in Ituri Province, Fizi and Mwenga in South Kivu, and Masisi and Rutshuru in North Kivu. The UNHCR urges Congolese authorities to do more to strengthen security in this part of the country and to prosecute those who commit abuse.
The King of Belgium regrets abuses during the colonial era
In a letter to President Félix Tshisekedi, King of Belgium expresses deep regret for the colonial abuses committed by his country in Congo-Kinshasa. The letter is written before today’s celebration of Congo-Kinshasa’s 60 years as an independent state. It is also published in a number of Belgian media. However, King Philippe does not go as far as a formal apology. From 1885 to 1908, the land was King Leopold II’s private property. During his reign of terror, about ten million people died. From 1908 until 1960, Congo-Kinshasa was a Belgian colony. This is the first time Belgium has publicly expressed remorse over what has happened.
Controversial legal reform can get the government on the case
A conflict over a controversial proposal for legal reform erupts between President Félix Tshisekedi and Justice Minister Tunda Ya Kasenda, who belongs to former President Joseph Kabila’s alliance FCC. The proposal is, among other things, to determine in more detail what powers a judge has, something that critics see as an attempt to silence the judiciary, undermine the independence of the judiciary and give the Justice Department more power. Justice Minister Ya Kasenda is arrested for a short time, accused of counterfeiting. After that, Kabil supporters and high-ranking FCC politicians gather outside the prosecutor’s office to protest the arrest. According to some sources, Prime Minister Sylvestre Ilunga Ilunkamba is threatening to step down in protest against the arrest, which could have ended the government alliance between Tshisekedi’s party UDPS and the FCC.
Quarantine towards rich business district is lifted
Kinshasa’s Gombe business district, where most of the country’s institutions, banks and foreign embassies are located, now avoids the quarantine introduced on April 6 to prevent the spread of covid-19 in the capital. There are also many exclusive homes in the area. Kinshasa’s governor justified the closure of Gombe, where there are between 100,000 and 200,000 people, being the epicenter of the Congo-Kinshasa pandemic. Of the 6,827 cases reported in the country, 6,000 have been in Kinshasa, which is estimated to have over 11 million inhabitants. 158 people have died in the viral disease.
The UN extends sanctions on Congo-Kinshasa
The UN Security Council extends sanctions against Congo-Kinshasa for another year, both for those targeted at individuals and those that have been introduced against various groups. At the same time, demands are being made for increased efforts against illegal trade in natural resources, especially gold, which is fueling conflicts between armed groups in the region. In its report, the Council says that gold from Congo-Kinshasa is smuggled into Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, the United Arab Emirates and Tanzania.
Ebola epidemic over in eastern Congo-Kinshasa
The Ebola epidemic in eastern Congo-Kinshasa is now over, as no new cases have been reported since April 27. Since August 2018, 2 280 people have died of the viral disease. However, at the beginning of June, new Ebola cases were reported in the Equator province in the northwestern part of the country.
Three officials are convicted of corruption
Two high-ranking officials in the road sector are sentenced to three years in prison for embezzling funds allocated for road maintenance in Kinshasa as well as in Goma and Bukavu in the eastern part of the country. Another man is sentenced to one year in prison. The prosecutor had pleaded for 15 years in prison for all three. Just as in the judgment against Presidential Chief of Staff Vital Kamerhe, these are funds that have disappeared in connection with the poverty reduction program that Félix Tshisekedi launched when he took office as President.
ADF is suspected of new acts of violence
The militant Islamist guerrilla ADF is suspected of several acts of violence in the eastern part of the country. In Nordkivu, nine people are kidnapped and later found dead. In the nearby Ituri region, ten civilians are killed in an attack on the village of Bukaka and two soldiers are killed in an attack against an army unit in Fizi in South Kivu. The ADF is suspected to have killed up to 500 people in revenge for the Congolese army attacking their bases in eastern Congo-Kinshasa.
Senior politicians are being convicted of corruption
Vital Kamerhe, a political veteran and until May President Félix Tshisekedi’s chief of staff, is slated to have embezzled more than $ 50 million in connection with a number of public projects (see May 2020) and sentenced to 20 years of hard work. He thus becomes the highest ranking person convicted of corruption in Congo-Kinshasa. Kamerhe himself says that the verdict against him is politically motivated and aims to prevent him from running for president in 2023. After serving a sentence, 61-year-old Kamerhe is banned from holding any political office for ten years. Representatives of the civic organization Filimbi pointed out to the AFP news agency that several actors involved in the deal, including a bank, have dropped legal action. Lebanese businessman Jammal Samih is also sentenced and sentenced to 20 years in prison. A third man in charge of logistics in the presidential staff is sentenced to two years in prison. The trial was allowed to be suspended for a period in May after the first judge in the case was murdered,
New massacre in Ituri
At least 16 people, including five children under the age of five, are killed in a massacre in the Mambisa area of the troubled Ituri province. Authorities suspect the Codeco militia for having performed the deed. It considers itself to defend the agricultural Lendu people of the province. Particularly exposed to the violence are men from the livestock-care home people. Codeco believes it has killed at least 300 people in Ituri since the beginning of the year.
Militians are arrested for the murder of Zaida Catalán
Militia leader Tresor Mputu Kankonde, who is suspected of murdering UN employees Swedish Zaida Catalán and American Michael Sharp in Kasai Province 2017 (see March 2017 and May 2018) has been arrested. He has also been prosecuted for several other crimes and is now being questioned. A trial of those suspected of committing the murder began three years ago, but after that not much has happened.
New outbreak of ebola in the northwest
A new outbreak of the virus disease ebola is reported from the country’s northwestern part of the country. Four people have died in the district around the town of Mbandaka in the Equator province. The outbreak of the eleventh in the country is happening at the same time as the epidemic is about to erupt in the eastern part of Congo-Kinshasa. An earlier Ebola outbreak in Equateur 2018 claimed 33 lives.
The state of emergency is renewed again
The state of emergency introduced to combat the ongoing pandemic is extended for the third time in 15 days. Congolese authorities refute information that it has manipulated the statistics of how many people have fallen ill in covid-19 and how many have died in the viral disease. President Felix Tshisekedi assigns his health minister to investigate rumors of false information that people have died in covid-19. At the same time, Jean-Jacques Muyembe, who is leading the Congolese work on the pandemic, says that because of its young population, Congo-Kinshasa has not been hit as hard by covid-19 as many European countries. According to official figures, 2,025 cases of covid-19 have been reported and 63 deaths.
HRW accuses the police of being overwhelmed by interventions against the BDK sect
Human Rights Watch (HRW) accuses the Congolese police of inflicting too much violence in connection with the intervention against the Bundu Dia Congo (BDK) movement in April (see April 2020). According to HRW, 55 people were killed during the clashes between the police and the BDK sect, not 22 as stated by the Interior Ministry. The human rights organization also says that even more sect members have been killed and injured in other police interventions.
High-ranking politician faces the right to corruption
Vital Kamerhe, a political veteran and close adviser to President Félix Tshisekedi, is facing corruption charges, along with a Lebanese businessman and another associate president. He is accused of embezzling more than $ 50 million in a series of public projects that were part of the president’s 100-day crisis plan, including new housing for poor Congolese people. Kamerhe has been in custody since April 8, his supporters believe that the charge against him is politically motivated. Kamerhe previously stood close to former President Joseph Kabila, but switched sides in 2018. He has been President of Parliament and is party leader of the Union of the Congolese Nation (UNC) which is in alliance with the presidential party in the Road to Change (Cach). He is the highest-ranking politician charged with corruption in the country. On May 12, it will be clear that Desiré-Cashmir Kolongele Eberande will temporarily step down as President’s Chief of Staff. Some analysts point out that a convict could make it easier for Tshisekedi to withdraw from the 2018 agreement that Kamerhe should be Cach’s candidate in the next presidential election.
17 are killed in Virunga National Park
At least 17 people are killed in an attack in the Virunga National Park, which is on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Twelve of the victims are park guards, the others are four civilians plus a driver. A further number of people are injured in the act, several of them difficult. According to the management of the park, the four civilians are believed to have been the target of the attack. It is unknown who performed the deed which is not the first in the national park, a total of 176 park guards have been killed in the last 20 years. No visitors have been allowed to come to the park since March 19, due to the corona pandemic.
Sect leaders are arrested for violence
Ne Muanda Nsemi, self-proclaimed prophet and leader of the Bundu Dia Kongo movement (BDK), is arrested in his home in Kinshasa. The arrest comes after several bloody clashes between BDK members and the police in the province of Congo Central, which are said to have claimed about 20 lives. BDK is described as a religious and political sect that wants to re-establish the old kingdom of Congo, which once included parts of what is today Congo-Kinshasa, Angola, Gabon and Congo-Brazzaville. BDK demands that everyone who does not belong to the Bakongo people should leave the province. The arrest of Nsemi became dramatic with the firing of BDK and the police. At least eight people have been killed, 35 have been injured and just over 200 people have been arrested. Ne Muanda Nsemi is a former MP and chemistry professor founded BDK in 1986. He was arrested in 2017 with the exemption of supporters,
The IMF grants crisis loans to fight covid-19
The IMF grants a $ 363 million crisis grant to Congo-Kinshasa to fight the covid-19 viral disease. The Corona crisis has hit the country hard financially, not least because of falling minerals prices. To date, more than 250 cases of covid-19 have been reported in the country, almost all in the area around the capital Kinshasa, and 21 people have died. At the same time, an Ebola epidemic is ongoing in the eastern part of the country and over 3,000 cases of measles have been reported in the province of Nordkivu only. To combat the measles epidemic, a comprehensive vaccination campaign has been launched in the hardest hit areas in Nordkivu. Since the beginning of 2019, more than 6,000 people are estimated to have died in measles in the country. The World Health Organization WHO has called for support from the outside world to vaccinate even more children.
First death in ebola in 50 days
A 26-year-old man has died in the Ebola virus disease in the city of Beni in the eastern part of the country. It is the first case of Ebola in Congo-Kinshasa reported in 50 days. Until now, the hope was that the worst epidemic of Ebola in the country would now be over. Since August 2018, approximately 2,200 people have died of Ebola. It was hoped that limited healthcare resources could instead be used to care for people affected by covid-19. So far, 215 cases of that disease have been reported in Congo-Kinshasa and 20 people have died. The country is also struggling with a measles epidemic.
The army kills some 30 militiamen in Lubumbashi
Clashes between militia groups and the government army in Lubumbashi, the country’s next largest city, require at least about 30 lives, according to data from a voluntary organization Justicia. Most of the victims are militiamen. Justicia claims that it was the militia group that attacked, but that without warning the army started firing at the assailants, some of whom were armed only with knives. The militiamen belong to groups loyal to former warlord Gedeon Kyungu Mutanga. He was convicted in 2009 for, among other crimes, against humanity , but escaped from prisons in 2011.
Congo-Kinshasa is closing its borders
24th of March
President Félix Tshisékédi announces state of emergency and closes Congo-Kinshasa boundaries to prevent the new corona virus from spreading in the country. The whole of Kinshasa is quarantined. To date, some 40 cases of covid-19 have been reported in the country and three people have died of the viral disease. The president also announces a stop for all domestic air traffic and all river transport from the capital Kinshasa. The week before, all air traffic from countries affected by the ongoing pandemic was banned. Clubs, restaurants and bars have been forced to close and all major crowds have been banned. Everyone who does not have work that is considered to be indispensable is invited to stay at home for four days from Saturday 28 March, then they will have two days to get what they need, then everyone will stay at home again for four days.
At least 30 cases of covid-19 in Congo-Kinshasa
Congo-Kinshasa’s second largest city, Lubumbashi, is quarantined for 48 hours after two people infected by covid-19 arrived there by flight from Kinshasa. A total of 30 cases of covid-19 have been reported in the country since March 10, and two people have died from the disease. One day later, information about the Congolese music star Manu Dibango died in the viral disease in Paris at the age of 86.
The violence is increasing in Ituri
The violence appears to be increasing in Ituri province in the eastern part of the country. Only since the beginning of March at least 50 people have been killed. 15 of them during the night between March 14 and March 15, according to local sources. 700 people have been killed in the area since 2017, people have also been raped and subjected to other serious abuses. A small, little known, militia group Codeco, is suspected to be behind the death. It considers itself to defend the agricultural Lendu people of the province. Particularly exposed to the violence are men from the livestock-care home people. It is unclear what Codeco’s goals are, but a bishop in the region describes the militia as a religious sect. Between 1999 and 2003, thousands of people were killed in violence between Lendu and Hema, but Hema has chosen not to revive its old militia groups during the recent outbreak of violence.
Former warlords are released after serving sentences
Two former warlords, Thomas Lubanga and Germain Katanga, are released after serving prison sentences following ICC convictions for their involvement in violence in the Ituri region between 1999 and 2003. Lubanga was arrested in 2006 and sentenced to 14 years in prison six years later (see September 2012), while Katanga was brought to court in 2007 and sentenced in 2014 to 12 years in prison. Katanga should have been released in 2015, but was arrested again. Lubanga was met by about 100 followers as he left the prison in Kinshasa.
Two weeks without new Ebola cases
The last patient has now left the treatment center against Ebola in Beni in North Kivu in the eastern part of the country, WHO reports. No new cases have been reported in two weeks. For the country to be said to be completely free of Ebola, it must be 42 days without new cases. Since the start of the Ebola outbreak in 2018, 2,300 people have died in the disease.
The budget for 2020 is halved
The Congolese state’s revenues have fallen so much that the state budget for 2020 must now be halved. This makes it difficult for President Félix Tshisekedi to implement his planned program to try to reduce poverty in the country. Among other things, he has planned to abolish all fees for compulsory education, and in the long term create a national health system. An important reason for the financial problems is, according to the Ministry of Finance, a large price fall on cobalt at the end of 2019. The crisis loan of just over $ 368 million granted by the IMF in 2019 (see December 2019) will not suffice to cover the loss of income. The country already has major problems with money disappearing through corruption, the lack of necessary skills and that there are large income gaps in society. Two Congolese out of three are expected to make less than $ 2 a day.
New acts of violence in eastern Congo-Kinshasa
Seven people are killed when people from a Mai Mai militia attack the village of Mamove in the Beni region of eastern Congo-Kinshasa. This means that over 60 people have been killed in various acts of violence in the area, including, the neighboring Ituri province over the past week. Several have been killed in connection with attacks on health care institutions where people infected by Ebola have been cared for.
Nearly 200 civilian deaths in Kivu provinces in one month
Nearly 200 civilian Congolese have been killed in December 2019 in the North and South Kivu provinces alone, according to Kivu Security Tracker , a collaborative project between the Congo Research Group and Human Rights Watch . This is the highest figure since the project began in 2017. The increase in violence is largely behind the Islamist ADF guerrilla, originating in Uganda, but several other armed groups are also active in the region. Most exposed is the Beni area in Nordkivu. The violence continues this year, with many new civilian victims.
Tough first year for Tshisekedi
One year after the change of power in Congo-Kinshasa, it is clear that President Félix Tshisekedi has not been very successful in implementing the reforms he promised earlier, to fight poverty and widespread corruption in the country. Nor has he succeeded in strengthening security in the troubled eastern part of the country. The fact that Representative Kabila’s camp controls Parliament, the National Assembly, sets a clear framework for the scope of action he has. However, in the plus account there are some things, among other things, the respect for freedom of assembly has been strengthened and political prisoners released. He has begun a dialogue with several neighboring countries to try to reduce tensions in the east and he has also made great efforts to break Congo-Kinshasa’s isolation on a wider international level. At the same time, it is clear that tensions exist between the president’s and ex-president’s camps. However, Tshisekedi has begun to tone down and has threatened to dismiss ministers from Kabila’s party alliance, the Congo Common Front (FCC), or to dissolve the National Assembly, something even his supporters believe would be fatal.
Risk of increased violence in eastern Congo-Kinshasa
Congo-Kinshasa’s neighboring countries Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi are suspected of supporting various Congolese rebel groups in the eastern part of the country. The International Crisis Group (ICG) now warns in a report that conflicts in the region could be further aggravated if neighboring countries increase their support for the rebels and point out that a large number of armed groups are active in the area, and that they are cooperating, but that these alliances can change rapidly. . President Félix Tshisekedi has tried to deal with the situation through talks with neighboring countries. The ICG advises him in his report of allowing Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi to participate in joint military operations in eastern Congo-Kinshasa.
30 soldiers have been killed by Islamist groups, according to the military
Islamist rebels from ADF-Nalu kill 30 soldiers and wound 70 in connection with fighting in North Kivu, according to military sources. This takes place during the government’s recent offensive against the group.
Measles requires 6,000 lives in Congo-Kinshasa
About 6,000 people have died in the measles epidemic that broke out in early 2019. 310,000 suspected cases of the disease have been reported, according to the WHO, and all of the country’s 26 provinces are affected. In September 2019, WHO and the government launched a vaccination program, since then about 18 million children under five have been vaccinated. This means that about twice as many people have died from measles than from the outbreak of viral disease in the eastern part of the country.
ADF-Nalu has killed 60 soldiers, according to the army
Rebels from the Islamist group ADF-Nalu have since October 2019 killed 60 Congolese soldiers in the area around the city of Beni in the eastern part of the country, according to a spokesman for the army. In addition, 175 soldiers were wounded. This has happened in connection with a military campaign against ADF-Nalu. The spokesman also rejects information disseminated via the internet that both the military and the UN force Monusco cooperate with ADF-Nalu. According to civil organizations, at least 200 people have fallen victim to the Islamist rebels during the same time period. The next day, the military announces that 16 members of the Codeco militia have been killed in the gold-rich Ituri province. Codeco is described by the AFP news agency as a politico-religious sect that is home to the Lendu people. Authorities accuse the militia of killing at least 160 people since June 2019.