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Going Back to Goma

The Democratic Republic of the Congo will start a phased return of residents who fled Goma in the aftermath of a volcanic eruption that destroyed thousands of homes and threatened to overrun the city, the government has said. Less than a week after the initial eruption on May 22, which just stopped short of the city limits, some 400,000 people scrambled to leave when the government warned underground tremors could cause a new eruption, or trigger the release of toxic gases. “Today, we decided on the progressive return of displaced people in line with a plan which will be issued by the military governor,” Prime Minister Jean-Michel Sama Lunkonde told a news conference in Goma on Monday. “Compared with two weeks ago, the situation in terms of seismic activity has improved. We now able to contemplate the future with less worry,” he added. The tremors have since subsided, and many people have returned to Goma. The city lies on the shores of Lake Kivu, about 12km (7.5 miles) from Mount Nyiragongo, Africa’s most active volcano.