November 26, 2012
Monitoring Security Situation in Goma
It is unclear what the upcoming days will bring for Goma and surrounding areas in DR Congo, given political developments over the weekend between rebel and government forces. The Fossey Fund remains vigilant and prepared, given the precarious nature of the security situation.
Today, the Fossey Fund office in Goma is open and despite the uncertainty, our indomitable staff are working to catch up (after remaining in their homes last week). The office has power as well as a backup generator. Staff are working on reports and data collection, as well as writing a scientific paper for publication. In addition, they are doing much-needed maintenance on the Land Rover vehicle that was just driven on a 1,000-mile trip on dirt roads to check on all of our Congo program sites and some other areas. They returned just in time to avoid the fighting around Goma.
For safety reasons, the staff are leaving the office earlier in the day than normal, and do not venture out of their homes at night. We remain in constant contact with them.
We remain vigilant, as tonight ends a 48-hour deadline given to rebels to abandon Goma. It seems they will not do so, and it remains to be seen if there will be any consequences.
Our programs and staff in other areas of DR Congo continue with normal operations.