Damien Bakulu, aged 25, from Kitchanga, Masisi territory
Damien Bakulu, aged 25, from Kitchanga, in Masisi territory, was recovering in hospital, in Ndoso, Goma, from shrapnel injuries in his eye, shoulder, arm and leg, sustained during recent fighting in Kitchanga between a local militia group and the Congolese army. Much of the town was destroyed during the clashes between February and March.
He says: “Everyday people were being threatened. We couldn’t live in safety.
“Then for two days there was constant fighting – every night we listened to the gunshots. Then there was a big attack during one day at the end of February. So we ran to the camp. I think 15 people were killed that day. After that we didn’t go home straight away, but about a week later we were told that the town was safe and that we could go home. But as we were trying to go back the fighting started again, so we went back to the camp and that is when I got injured. It was March 4.
“Everything was burned –my house, my mother’s house. She is still in the camp. So I came here with nothing, and I will go back as a displaced person. I will start from zero in the camp.
“When I see people with guns I’m afraid. I feel vulnerable, because people with guns only do one thing – they destroy.
“It’s a good idea to stop people getting hold of weapons so easily. But it is not the first time that they have tried to do something like this.
“For Congo we also have to find a solution here, on the ground. Every time something big happens, people talk about finding a solution. But no one has found one that has lasted yet. If people were really serious about finding a solution then we could start to rebuild our country and our lives.”