Killing of civilians escalates in DRC


United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator for DRC, Bruno Lemarquis

from JEAN KASSONGO in Kinshasa, DRC
DRC Bureau
KINSHASA, (CAJ News) – THE United Nations’ senior envoy in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has denounced the escalation of violence against civilians.

This follows the killing of more than 20 people in the troubled North Kivu, east of the country this week.

In addition to the human cost of this event, the attack also disrupted humanitarian operations.

Two vehicles were set on fire by angry protesters, as were three trucks carrying vital food assistance, forcing many organizations to suspend their activities in Oicha. More than 140,000 people in need are thus deprived of vital humanitarian aid.

“No words can express our sadness at the lives lost and the immense suffering endured for several years by the affected populations,” said Humanitarian Coordinator, Bruno Lemarquis.

“We send our sincere condolences and our solidarity to the families of the victims. The humanitarian community remains fully mobilized with the affected populations.”

Since the beginning of October, armed violence in the North Kivu territories of Masisi and Rutshuru has caused the displacement of nearly 200 000 additional people.

Due to the persistence of insecurity, humanitarian actors face significant constraints in accessing certain areas densely populated with displaced people.

Lemarquis called on all parties to ensure the protection of civilians and respect for international humanitarian law, cooperating with humanitarian assistance efforts aimed at relieving this immense suffering.

“The lives of hundreds of thousands of people depend on it (aid),” added the humanitarian coordinator said.

– CAJ News

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