Congo Kinshasa: ICRC aids victims of violence in South Kivu
02-07-2007 News Release 07/14
Bukavu (ICRC) – An upsurge of violence in South Kivu has forced thousands of families to flee their villages.
As a result, the ICRC is today launching an operation to come to the aid of some 15,000 people in Kaniola, about 60 km east of South Kivu's capital, Bukavu.
" The ICRC is particularly concerned about abuses committed by armed persons against the civilian population, usually women and children, " said Patrick Walder, head of the organization's sub-delegation in Bukavu. The ICRC frequently received reports of abductions, executions, rapes and pillage, he said. " A large number of families have had to flee their homes. "
Each household will receive a range of essential items (blankets, clothing, soap, cooking kits, hoes) and food (maize, peas, oil and salt). This operation would not be possible without the help of the local branch of the Red Cross Society of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and its volunteers involved in the distributions. The operation has been made possible by a broader humanitarian effort coordinated between several large international organizations working in the country. That effort is covering the most urgent needs of 55,000 people affected by the violence.
At the same time the ICRC is doing its utmost to bring an end to the outrages committed against the civilian population of South Kivu. To this end it is maintaining a confidential dialogue with the relevant authorities about violations of international humanitarian law, while closely monitoring the situation of people displaced within the country.
In support of medical facilities struggling to cope with the influx of large groups of people fleeing the violence, the ICRC is also providing Walungu and Kaniola hospitals with medica l kits to treat the wounded, and other essential supplies. It will continue to monitor the security situation in the area and will pursue its dialogue with the local civilian and military authorities, who have given the operation their full support.
For further information, please contact:
Patrick Walder, ICRC Bukavu, tel +243 81 036 69 60
Wolde-Gabriel Saugeron, ICRC Kinshasa, tel +243 81 700 85 36
Anna Schaaf, CICR Genève, tel +41 22 730 22 71 ou +41 79 217 32 17