At the end of August, MSF started supporting a hospital in Masisi district and today I'm supposed to be traveling up there to visit it. I get to the office at 07:15 to wait for the call to say that the roads are okay. Up until now it's been uncertain as to whether I can go or not. The fighting, primarily between the army and a rebel group led by Laurent Nkunda, has got worse in recent weeks. People are living in fear and it's not hard to understand why. Villages can be attacked without warning and people killed for no reason.
But today the roads are clear and we set off. As we drive out of Goma we see the camps where thousands of people, who've fled to the capital in search of some kind of safety, are living. The further we get from the city the more armed men we see. Different villages and towns are controlled by different armed groups and the MSF driver keeps me informed throughout the journey as to whose territory we are crossing into.
The signs of war are everywhere. We pass through several villages that are completely deserted, everyone has fled. The tukuls that they lived in, which are basic at the best of times, are empty, the doors open. I'm not sure whether they've been kicked open or left that way by their inhabitants to show that there's nothing left to loot.