Congolese government soldiers went on a looting and shooting spree in refugee camp in the village of Kibati, stealing food and supplies from ailing families and civilians, the Associated Press reports.

One woman was killed by a stray bullet during the uproar at the camp, which is located north of the provincial capital Goma, where nearly 70,000 men, women and children seek refuge.

People all over the camp were held at gunpoint while soldiers stole food and belongings. One man was awoken to the sight of four guns in his face.‚  The Congolese soldiers stole his food, his clothing and a plastic bucket for water.

The man, Bernard Udafuye, says it wasn’t the soldiers’ fault.‚  “It was just an accident, that they stole from us,” he said. “They are hungry.”

I thought that was particularly surprising.‚  Maybe he’s afraid he may be robbed again or maybe he genuinely believes it was an “accident.”‚  Either way, it’s weird.

It doesn’t surprise me that government soldiers do this, though.‚  During my interview with Olivia Ward, I talked to her a lot about the Congo and she mentioned a fair degree of corruption there.‚  As is the case in some African countries, government soldiers are corrupt.‚  It’s a fact of life for these people, as unfortunate as it is.

You flee one area to avoid death.‚  In another area you seek refuge under the command of government forces and they steal your food, clothing and water buckets.‚  Come on.

About The Author

Sachin Seth is the Blast Magazine world news reporter. He writes the Terra blog. You can visit his website at or follow him on twitter @sachinseth

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