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Democratic Republic of the Congo: Major aid operation in Ikela

17-11-2003 News Release 03/145

On 15 November, an ICRC-chartered Antonov 12 made the last of ten return flights between Bukavu and the airport of Bangboka, near Kisangani in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The aircraft had brought essential supplies, such as cloth for clothing, soap, kitchen utensils and blankets to over 4,800 families - 25,000 people - living in the eastern part of Ikela, which lies in the province of Équateur.

The ICRC had made two round trips a day, transporting 100 tonnes of supplies in five days. On arrival in Bangboka, everything was trucked to warehouses specially rented for the operation to await onward movement to Opala by barge.

The people of Ikela have been cut off by war for a long time. Even now, they will have to wait until the beginning of December, as access difficulties have made it necessary to set up a large and complex logistics system involving aircraft, barges and trucks, operating from the eastern and western parts of the country.

 For further information please contact:  

 Elizabeth Twinch, ICRC Goma, tel.: ++250 0830 04 61  

 Alec Guichard, ICRC Bukavu, tel.: ++250 0830 04 51