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Butembo 2014.JPG
Butembo is located in Democratic Republic of the Congo
Location in Democratic Republic of the Congo
Coordinates: 00°07′40″N 29°17′15″E / 0.12778°N 29.28750°E / 0.12778; 29.28750
CountryFlag of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.svg Democratic Republic of the Congo
ProvinceNorth Kivu
 • Total190.34 km2 (73.49 sq mi)
1,381 m (4,531 ft)
 • Total154,621[1]
Taken from the Airtel building. This picture was taken before the road was painted with lanes.

Butembo is a city in North Kivu, in the north eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, lying west of the Virunga National Park. The city is an important commercial centre with large markets, a cathedral, multiple large hospitals, and an airport. The city is located in a region known for tea and coffee growing. As of 2013 it had an estimated population of 670,285, making it the second largest city in North Kivu.[2]


Butembo is 90% populated by the Nande tribe,[3] a tribe fueled by ethnic solidarity, conservative moral standards and influential leaders.[4]

The city is home to the 2nd Integrated Brigade of the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo,[5] the Université Catholique du Graben (UCG), founded in 1989,[6] and the Adventist University of Lukanga (UNILUK), founded in 1979.


Ebola broke out in August 2018 in North Kivu province. A series of attacks on Ebola treatment centers in Butembo led up to the death of a policeman in March 2019 and of a doctor in April 2019.[7][8] Locals mistakenly believe aid workers brought the virus to the area.[8] More than 102,000 people received an experimental vaccine in this period,[9] but 843 of 1300 confirmed and probable Ebola patients died.[8] Treatment centers were earlier torched in Butembo and Katwa, and medical professionals threatened to strike.[10]


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ "Superficie et densié de la population en 2013". Bulletin Annuel des Statistiques Sociales, Province du Nord-Kivu (2013): 19. November 2014.
  3. ^ [2]
  4. ^ Laura Seay (July 31, 2015). "Why one city in Congo is astonishingly stable and prosperous". The Washington Post.
  5. ^ MONUC via Reliefweb, RD Congo : Rapport mensuel des droits de l'homme - juillet 2007
  6. ^ Université Catholique du Graben (website)
  7. ^ "DR Congo arrests 11 over murder of doctor fighting Ebola". Nairobi: Daily Nation. Agence France-Presse. April 26, 2019.
  8. ^ a b c "Attackers Kill Doctor at Hospital in Congo's Ebola Epicenter". VOA. Associated Press. April 19, 2019.
  9. ^ "Attackers kill doctor at hospital in Congo's Ebola epicenter". Federal News Network. 2019-04-19. Retrieved 2019-05-14.
  10. ^ Rebecca Ratcliffe (February 28, 2019). "Arsonists attack Ebola clinics in DRC as climate of distrust grows: Health agencies re-evaluate approach after attacks on treatment centres in North Kivu". The Guardian. Retrieved April 26, 2019.

External links[edit]

  • Butembo in Google Maps
  • YouTube Video of Nella Star (2007) Video by Godfried van Loo following Dutch sociologist/anthropologist Nella Star when going back to Butembo after over 30 years. With a lot of footage from the city Butembo and surroundings. Dutch/French spoken and subtitled.

Coordinates: 0°09′N 29°17′E / 0.150°N 29.283°E / 0.150; 29.283