The vital port of Matadi, abandoned by United Nations forces Mar 6 after shelling by the Congolese Army, has become the centre of another form of dispute.
The vital port of Matadi, abandoned by United Nations forces Mar 6 after shelling by the Congolese Army, has become the centre of another form of dispute. Filmed April 5 were thousands of cases and bags of uncollected UN supplies - including spirits, minerals, rice and dried fish from many countries - cramming the warehouses and said to be obstructing the port and likely to cause complete congestion.
At a recent press conference in Leopoldville, Mr Tamba, director of the Congolese Transport Agency - OTRACO - said that, since the "withdrawal of United Nations military and civil services from Matadi", the UN had left the port authorities without the usual documents and instructions for clearance and delivery of the goods by his company.
He said this "attitude of abstention" had resulted in the pile-up of 760 tons of goods at Matadi. Mr Tamba was supported by Foreign Minister Bomboko who accused the UN of aiming a blow at Congolese economy.
At Ango-Ango, near Matadi, April 5 - with a Portuguese warship lying in the background of the Congo River - vigilant Congolese guards keep a close watch for infiltrators on their border with Portuguese Angola.
A barrier stands before a small bridge on the road between Matadi and Nioqui in Angolese territory - to cross this, all travellers must produce a special pass signed by the Matadi authorities. The Congolese Army - 'ANC' - say they have no confidence in a neighbour who is il-disposed to them from the start.
But hundreds of African refugees still continue to arrive in the Congo from Angola. At the villages of Soyo and Kinzao April 6, large parties arrived exhausted after a gruelling trek over the mountains. They were welcomed by Andre Mvita, the Matadi Security Chief. They were said to be swelling the population of these villages by up to 70-per-cent, and bringing about a serious shortage of food.
It was estimated that between the 2nd and 6th of April - always travelling in the early hours of the morning - some 2,500 Africans had passed the Angolese border to seek refuge in the Congo.