Terrorised Congo families receive Caritas aid
08 January 2009
Caritas will distribute aid to 10,000 families in northern Democratic Republic of Congo following Christmastime massacres by Ugandan rebels.
Caritas distributes aid to 10,000 families in northern Democratic Republic of Congo.
Rebels have been terrorising people in northern Congo for some months now. But a wave of attacks over the festive period saw over 400 people killed in a series of massacres by Lord’s Resistance Army rebels on Christmas day and beyond. Many others fled their homes as a result of the attacks.
Caritas Congo spokesperson Guy-Marin Kamandji, who is currently in northern Congo says, “What I have heard from survivors is appalling. In spite of the presence of armed forces in some villages, many people are still terrified of more violence. People fled with nothing and Caritas is ensuring the needs are met of those who have been uprooted by the Christmas violence and by the attacks before then.”
An initial distribution of non-food items to 5000 families will take place on 9th January in Doruma, Faradje, Dungu and Isiro.
People will receive clothes, eating utensils, water containers and a tarpaulin for shelter. A further 5000 families will be helped in subsequent distributions.
Up to 150,000 people are thought have left their homes to seek safety following violence which has seen rebels burning villages, hacking people to death and kidnapping children and forcing them to become soldiers.
Caritas launched an emergency appeal and warned of the devastating effects the guerillas were having on the northern area of Congo back in October.
Caritas’ most recent distribution of aid to people affected by the violence was on 14th December.
The crisis in northern Congo, which has seen appalling brutalities inflicted on the civil population, has been largely over-shadowed by the humanitarian crisis in the east of the country where up to two million people have fled violence between other rebel groups and the armed forces.
“The people of DRC aspire to peace for DRC and its neighbours,” says Fr Pierre Cibambo, Caritas Internationalis’ Africa Liason Officer. “Democratic institutions should be protected and strengthened, violations of human rights and the criminalisation of the economy should not be tolerated. Everybody will benefit from a stable and prosperous DRC”.
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