Hospital patients and nurses killed

Lemera Hospital, about 85 kilometres north of Uvira, is the largest in South-Kivu, with about 230 beds. In early October, about 300 patients were being tended there. Some were Zairian soldiers wounded in the armed confrontations that were taking place with increasing frequency in the area. Many others were from Burundi. The hospital management had asked for increased protection from the military in exchange for tending the soldiers. Military reinforcements from Kinshasa were sent to Kidoti, two or three kilometres away.

In the early hours of 6 October, members of the Tutsi-led armed group attacked Kidoti. There were fatalities both among the Zairian soldiers and the rebels. There were also civilian casualties, at least two of whom appeared to have been targeted and killed deliberately.

"Two priests were killed. One of them, Koko, was killed on the spot, the other, l'abbé Ndogole, was taken hostage first and was found dead later in the mountains."

Then the armed group went on to attack
Lemera Hospital.

Those who could not flee in time were killed. The attackers entered the hospital, looted the medicines and killed the patients. Two nurses, Kadaguza and Simbi, and an assistant nurse, Maganya were killed."

When those who had fled returned to the
hospital, at about four in the afternoon, they found a scene of carnage. According to eye-witnesses, around 30 patients had been killed in their beds, either with bullets or bayonets. Most were members of Burundian armed opposition groups who had been wounded in fighting in Burundi. Nurses had been killed in their quarters. A Burundian doctor whose house was riddled with bullets escaped moments before the attack.

The killings of the wounded soldiers in the
hospital beds and of civilian nurses in their quarters at the Lemera hospital were blatant breaches of international humanitarian law.






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