News / Africa

Violence Increasing Against Displaced People in Eastern DRC

A woman carries her child in Minova, 45 kilometers west of Goma, DRC, November 26, 2012.A woman carries her child in Minova, 45 kilometers west of Goma, DRC, November 26, 2012.
x
A woman carries her child in Minova, 45 kilometers west of Goma, DRC, November 26, 2012.
A woman carries her child in Minova, 45 kilometers west of Goma, DRC, November 26, 2012.
Lisa Schlein
The U.N. refugee agency says it is very worried about the security of displaced people and aid workers in camps in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo after an attack Saturday at a camp outside Goma. The UNHCR and other aid agencies say increasing violence in the region is preventing the delivery of urgently needed assistance to tens of thousands of internally displaced people.

The U.N. refugee agency says fortunately no one was killed during the attack at the Mugunga III camp, but several cases of rape were reported. It says people in the camp are anxious and upset.  

UNHCR spokesman Adrian Edwards said the attack occurred a few hours after the World Food Programme had distributed rations to the camp population. He said armed men searched tents and stole money, mobile phones and food that had been handed out earlier by WFP.  

“Looting was also reported among the population living immediately adjacent to the camp," said Edwards. "It is also being reported that around a dozen IDPs were forced to carry looted materials out of the camp. The few police there were unable to intervene, while MONUSCO [United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC] troops, who also face capacity constraints, were not in a position to maintain a permanent presence at the site.”  

Crowded Mugunga III camp

The UNHCR reports at least 30,000 people are currently at the Mugunga III camp. About 75,000 more are staying at other sites, while thousands of others are living at spontaneous sites or with host communities.

Edwards said the recent attack highlights the need for greater security at sites for internally displaced people. He said there also needs to be improved humanitarian access so people can get better care.

The U.N. Children’s Fund agrees with this assessment. It says a survey of internally displaced families in Goma and along the Sake axis finds they lack the most basic non-food items. UNICEF spokeswoman Marixie Mercado said most families have no fuel cans, no mosquito nets, no sleeping materials, no cooking utensils, or extra clothes.  

Multiple concerns

“Despite these acute needs, plans for a massive blanket distribution of a basic non-food item kit to an estimated 30,000 families in all the camps have been put on hold due to the risk of systematic looting of the kind that was seen in Mugunga III on Saturday," said Mercado. "We have 12 cases of sexual-assault survivors from Mugunga III camp, including three girls who have been provided with treatment and care by UNICEF’s partner Hope in Action. And Mugunga hospital now has recorded 72 cases of rape.”  

Mercado said that more than 650 unaccompanied minors have been identified, but so far only 14 children have been reunited with their families. She said at least four cases of measles are confirmed among IDPs and UNICEF is concerned about a rise in the number of cholera cases.

She said UNICEF and partners are planning a measles and polio vaccination campaign that will begin in the camps near Goma in the coming days.

You May Like

On Everest, Helicopters Rescue Stranded Climbers

Choppers transport some of more than 100 mountaineers trapped after deadly quake, avalanches More

Video Ten Years After Riots, France Searches for Answers to Neglected Suburbs

In 2005, a Paris suburb exploded into violence after two teenagers were electrocuted as they hid from police; since then, somethings have changed, others not More

US, Japan Announce Historic Revision of Defense Cooperation Guidelines

Nations say new guidelines will be 'cornerstone for peace and security' in Asia-Pacific region while also serving as 'platform for a more stable international security environment' More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: David from: Washington
December 04, 2012 2:42 PM
UN does a good job but it is temporary solution. This country had done 15 years of World War, it needs PLAN MARCHAL which it consist to build rail road pipeline connected Goma, Katanga, Mbuji-Mayi, Kinshasa and terminal port Banana. These infrastructures will sustain a development, secure import-export, secure foods and stop traffic of blood mineral.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
‘Angel of the Migrants’ Helps Desperate Syrians Arriving in Europei
X
Henry Ridgwell
April 26, 2015 10:36 PM
Waves of migrants are continuing to arrive on the shores of southern Italy from North Africa. After their dangerous journey across the Mediterranean, they face an unknown future in Europe. In the Sicilian city of Catania there is an activist dedicated to helping the refugees on their journey.
Video

Video ‘Angel of the Migrants’ Helps Desperate Syrians Arriving in Europe

Waves of migrants are continuing to arrive on the shores of southern Italy from North Africa. After their dangerous journey across the Mediterranean, they face an unknown future in Europe. In the Sicilian city of Catania there is an activist dedicated to helping the refugees on their journey.
Video

Video Ten Years After Riots, France Searches for Answers to Neglected Suburbs

January’s terrorist attacks and fears of more to come are casting a spotlight on France’s neglected suburbs. Home to many immigrants, and sometimes hubs of crime, they were rocked by rioting a decade ago. Lisa Bryant visited the Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois, where the 2005 violence first broke out, and has this report about what has changed and what has not.
Video

Video Gay Marriage Goes Before US Supreme Court

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether gay people have a constitutional right to marriage. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the case could lead to the nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage, or a continuation of the status quo in which individual states decide whether to recognize gay unions.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.

VOA Blogs