Victims of Congo's other crisis get help
25 November 2008
Caritas has delivered aid to 2000 families in northern Congo where thousands of people have fled their homes because of Ugandan rebel violence.
Over the past two months, villagers have been uprooted because of Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) attacks. The rebels have burnt villages and killed and abducted people who cross their path.
Caritas has given out items such as covers, clothes, cutlery, plates and soap in the diocese of Dungu-Doruma to help those who have left everything behind. A second distribution of items will take place in a different area in two weeks’ time.
“It is important that humanitarian assistance is provided to the victims of these atrocities, but people can’t rely only on humanitarian aid. The security needs to be restored to allow them to go back to their villages and cultivate their lands, ” says Fr Pierre Cibambo, Caritas Internationalis’ Africa liaison officer.
Caritas launched an emergency appeal for US$440,000 in mid-October after distressing reports of violent attacks and killings emerged from northern Congo.
Recent insecurity has caused other humanitarian agencies to suspend their activities.
Bishop Richard Domba Madi from Dungu Doruma diocese recently expressed concerns about the mounting atrocities in northern Congo and about the fate of children in particular.
He said that the LRA often kidnaps children, inducts them into their ranks and forces them to kill and maim. Sometimes they are made to kill their own parents.
Caritas was established in Congo in 1960. It is currently appealing for US$5.5 million to help people caught up in the crisis in eastern Congo and in Ituri region. It also carries out development work in areas such as peace building, HIV prevention and education.
For more information please contact Michelle Hough on +39 06 69879752/+39 334 234 4136 or firstname.lastname@example.org