Violence in the Congo
Submitted by Jennifer Fierberg, MSW Salem-News.com
"We are calling on the International Community to protect the innocent civilians of the DRC"
Courtesy: Herald Sun in Australia
(WASHINGTON DC) - The violence in the DRC has escalated over the last week by the rebel group M23, a rebel group the UN believes is supported and backed by Rwanda and Uganda, a claim they vehemently deny. Due to the severe and ever increasing humanitarian crisis that is unfolding in this region Actionaid has workers on the ground in Goma who are actively assessing the needs of those displaced and in need.
Sulah Nuwamanya, Head of Partnership Development and Communications with Actionaid Rwanda spoke to this writer today stating that, "yesterday I was on the ground in Goma and the situation remained fluid but tense." Of those who remained in Goma Mr. Nuwamanya stated, "they were calm in their houses but are lacking basic services like water, electricity and food."
Full statement from Actionaid International:
DRC CONFLICT: FIGHTING PREVENTING HUMANITARIAN AGENCIES FROM REACHING AFFECTED COMMUNITIES, SAYS ACTIONAID
(Friday 23 November) As 11 Heads of States from Africa’s Great Lakes Region gather in Kampala to discuss the peace process for DRC today, ActionAid calls for humanitarian agencies to be given access to communities affected by the violence.
With reports of summary executions, gender-based violence and large-scale recruitment of child soldiers, the aid agency also urges the international community to fully protect the rights of civilians impacted by the fighting in Eastern DRC, and to provide urgent funding to help people to rebuild their lives.
As Goma and Sake fall to M23 rebels and civilians flee their homes amid fierce clashes, ActionAid, along with other agencies, has had to stop work in several communities.
Adelin Ntanonga, ActionAid’s Country Director for DRC said:
“The situation is worsening as the efforts of aid agencies are becoming severely disrupted. We are unable to deliver help and reach out to vulnerable people trapped by the conflict.
“We are witnessing an appalling humanitarian crisis that will deteriorate further if we continue to be denied access to the worst affected areas.”
The conflict is severely impacting poor and marginalised people, especially women, young girls and children. In Goma there is little food, clean water or shelter and no medical facilities or power.
As people leave their homes, the fighting has resulted in loss of property, destruction of public infrastructure and equipment, looting of livestock, increased violence against women and girls and human rights violations for both internally displaced people (IDPs) and host populations.
“We are calling on the international community to protect civilians’ rights and provide funding to help people to restore and rebuild their lives and livelihoods.”
For more information or interviews contact Sulah Nuwamanya on firstname.lastname@example.org or +250730176519
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