from JEAN KASSONGO in Kinshasa, DRC
KINSHASA, (CAJ News) – OVER 300 people, most of them women and children, are at the risk of murder, sexual violence and kidnappings five months after an outbreak of violence by armed groups in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The grave violations are widespread in the provinces of Ituri and North Kivu.
In October alone, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) staff recorded at least 1 000 human rights violations in the two eastern provinces.
“Civilians live in fear of death and destruction,” said Babar Baloch, UNHCR spokesman, said.
The displaced people are also living not only in dire conditions without proper assistance.
UNHCR has intensified its response to the growing displacement crisis in eastern DRC.
However, the organisation needs additional resources to continue to support and improve the situation.
UNHCR seeks $150 million (R2,24 billion) to meet the needs of refugees in the DRC this year.
Only slightly more than half of this amount has been received.
“Lack of funding severely hampers the ability of displaced people to meet their basic needs,” Baloch added.
Before the displacements in Ituri and North Kivu, an estimated 4 million people were already displaced in the DRC.
This is about 10 percent of the world’s internally displaced population.
– CAJ News