North Congo needs security as violence increases
30 January 2009
Caritas is urging the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo to provide security in the north of the country to protect people from rebel attacks.
Caritas distributes aid to 10,000 families in northern Democratic Republic of Congo.
Almost 900 people died and over 700 were kidnapped in Ugandan rebel Lord’s Resistance Army(LRA) attacks in the north over Christmas and in January.
Access to aid agencies to help the affected population also has been impeded by the violence.
Caritas assessment missions to Dungu and Doruma have revealed cases of rape and trauma.
Almost 25,000 people have been made homeless in Doruma and Gangala while hundreds more have been displaced in Ngilima, Li-May and Bangadi.
“Caritas urges protection for humanitarian organisations to ensure people who have suffered over the past few months receive help,” says Dr Bruno Miteyo, National Director for Caritas Congo.
Activity by the LRA around Doruma specifically means that travel by road is highly dangerous and limits access to people in need.
Caritas has been involved in making an airstrip in Doruma bigger so aid planes can land. It also hopes to organise a humanitarian convoy to deliver aid.
Caritas aims to help up to 60,000 people affected by the north Congo rebel attacks. It distributed non-food items such as clothes, eating utensils and hygiene items to over 6000 people in Mbengu and Iveka last week.
People have to heavily rely on aid agencies. If they go into the fields to search for food, they risk attack.
Caritas has reported the discovery of the bodies of two women who appear to have been raped in a field near Doruma. They had gone out in search of food.
Caritas has raised concerns for the provision of water around Doruma, where there are hardly any natural sources of drinking water.
People in the north Congo have been terrorised by violent rebel attacks for months. The rebels have hacked people to death with machetes and raped women and children.
Caritas initially launched a US$440,000 appeal to help the population in north Congo in October. As the violence continued Caritas boosted the request to US$1.6 million
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