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Tens of thousands displaced in fresh violence in DR Congo
DR Congo
Photo Courtesy: IOM

Tens of thousands displaced in fresh violence in DR Congo

| @indiablooms | 03 Jul 2024, 11:58 am

Millions of displaced people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) are suffering amid one of the world’s most neglected crises, the UN International Organization of Migration (IOM) said on Tuesday.

The situation is particularly concerning in the restive province of North Kivu, home to 2.8 million displaced people.

In the last one week, more than 150,000 were displaced due to continued fighting in the town of Lubero and the strategically important town of Kanyabayonga was seized by M23 rebels.

Situation ‘rapidly deteriorating’

The situation in capital Goma “is rapidly deteriorating” as it remains isolated from supply routes, IOM reported, adding that civilians face theft, burglary, abuse and harassment.

“The proximity of frontlines and the presence of weapons in and around displacement sites significantly compromise the security of displaced populations,” the agency added.

The situation is further complicated by the threat of disasters, including heavy rains, landslides and floods, particularly in South Kivu and Tanganyika, which displaced tens of thousands in May.

Attacks of humanitarian workers

The region is also particularly perilous for humanitarians.

On Sunday, a humanitarian convoy was attacked in the town of Butembo, North Kivu, killing two relief workers.

Since the beginning of the year, more than 170 security incidents have directly targeted humanitarian workers, causing at least four deaths and 20 injuries.

Over a dozen humanitarian workers have also been kidnapped in the first half of 2024.

Bruno Lemarquis, UN Humanitarian Coordinator for the DRC, condemned the attack, stressing “humanitarians are not targets, just as civilian populations are not targets”.

“The security and protection of humanitarian workers must be ensured, and the perpetrators of these actions must be identified and brought to justice,” he added.

Funding needed urgently

Alongside insecurity, limited resources are also constraining aid efforts.

According to the UN Office for Coordination of the Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the $2.6 billion Humanitarian Response Plan for the DRC only 26 per cent funded, at $669 million.

Fully funded, the Plan will enable UN agencies and humanitarian partners provide assistance and protection to about 8.7 million most vulnerable people.

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