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

Ukraine: Mysterious 'Roaming Tank' Reportedly Takes Aim at Smugglers

Ukraine's TV, print media, Facebook abuzz with reports a 'roaming tank' is on the loose, destroying vehicles of those involved in smuggling More

US Wildlife Service Begins Probe of Killing of Cecil the Lion

Minnesota man accused of killing beast is in hiding, has been asked to contact US officials; White House to review extradition petition More

Video Kerry Five-Nation Tour to Cover Security, Iran Nuclear Deal

Secretary of state will visit Egypt, Qatar, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam to discuss security issues, Iran nuclear deal, Trans-Pacific Partnership 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.
Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’i
X
July 29, 2015 9:34 PM
Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.

VOA Blogs