Humanitarian agencies are still trying
to gather information from parts of northeastern DRC that were recently
attacked by Ugandan rebels. Attacks
by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) killed hundreds of people and caused
thousands of others to flee into the bush. UN agencies and others are trying to
determine the exact number of people who need emergency assistance and the best
way of getting it to them.
Farrell, spokesman for the World Food Program, spoke from Goma, in the eastern
DRC, to VOA English to Africa Service reporter Joe De Capua about the status of
humanitarian situation is still grave…. However, food is flowing into a good
portion of it (eastern DRC), for example, in the province of South Kivu, the
province of North Kivu. The reason for the need for the food, of course, is all
of the dislocations that occurred during November’s fighting,” he says.
the time, government troops fought CNDP rebel forces led by Laurent Nkunda.
up in the northeastern part of the country, up near the point where the borders
of Uganda…Sudan…and the Central African Republic come in, it really got brewed
up again around Christmas time by a particularly notorious militia group up
there. And we’ve now got a fresh population of displaced people. How many at
this point we don’t know because there’s still fighting going on up there,” he
multi-national military operation is underway in the region to hunt down the
you can actually start supplying food, you have to do assessments. Before you
do assessments, you have to have security, and that type of security is not in
place yet,” says Farrell.
WFP and other UN agencies believe that tens of thousands people have been
displaced and may be lacking clean water supplies, which raises the risk of
that is the fact that when these people fled, they had to leave their food
stocks and their necessities for living behind. For many of the people who
stayed in their towns and villages, the LRA burned much of their food stocks….
And it’s basically turned into a disaster for a great, great many people up
there,” he says.
What’s more, the displacements have
disrupted planting or harvesting. “So even though you’re here in one of the
most lush and fertile areas of Africa, you’ve got this disastrous situation
where the people have been cut off from their food supplies,” says the WFP