In July Kabila ordered the Rwandan troops to leave the country, triggering a rebel insurrection which started on August 2 from the east. The "Rassemblement Congolais pour la Démocratie" (RCD), backed by Rwanda and Uganda, soon occupied a large part of DRC. The rebels' attempt to overthrow the government in Kinshasa failed only when Angola, Zimbabwe and Namibia sent troops into Congo to assist Kabila. Heavy fighting occurred in many parts of the country leading to displacement. The situation was so unstable that aid organisations were often unable to reach the victims.
In the beginning of 1998 a cholera outbreak in a military camp near Kisangani revealed that some 3000 children were being detained in overcrowded and "dangerously unsanitary"
© Kadir van Lohuizen
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The day we visited the camp it was horrible - there were dead bodies everywhere. The camp looked like a prison; the soldiers - who were in fact twelve to eighteen year old children - were living in houses containing hundreds of people; there were no beds, no mattresses, the children would sleep on the actual floor.