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

Anti-Terror Drills Highlight China’s Push Into Central Asia

China, Russia, several central Asian countries wrap up massive anti terrorism military drills in Inner Mongolia More

Erdogan’s First Step: Secure More Power in New Role in Turkey

Erdogan was sworn in as Turkey's first popularly elected president on Thursday; he picked former foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu as PM More

Pakistan Army Fails to Break Political Deadlock

PM Sharif claims he didn't ask army to defuse crisis; military rejects claim 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.
Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assaulti
X
Daniel Schearf
August 29, 2014 9:30 PM
After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.

AppleAndroid