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Democratic Republic of the Congo: ICRC evacuates war casualties in South Kivu

12-01-2012 News Release 12/05

Kinshasa (ICRC) – Heavy fighting has been raging in Shabunda territory of South Kivu province since 31 December.

Since 5 January, 27 injured people, including eight children, have been evacuated to various hospitals in Bukavu with support from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

"Despite limited resources, health-care services in the area reacted quickly and have provided very effective care," said Laetitia Courtois, the head of the ICRC sub-delegation in Bukavu. "Because of the seriousness of some of the injuries, we offered our help in evacuating the people to the city of Bukavu."

Medical supplies, including dressing materials and antibiotics, have been provided for health-care centres in Nzovu, in Shabunda territory, to enable them to cope with any influx of casualties. At the same time, the ICRC continues to press the authorities and weapon bearers to respect and protect civilians.

"We are very concerned about the escalation in fighting in Shabunda," said Ms Courtois. "The massive population displacement that it causes is severely disrupting the already difficult daily lives of people in the area, who often have to abandon their livelihoods."

Since January 2011 the ICRC has evacuated 136 casualties in the Kivus, including 55 in South Kivu.

For further information, please contact:
Krista Armstrong, ICRC Bukavu, tel: +243 81 700 77 86
Yves Heller, ICRC Kinshasa, tel: +243 81 700 85 36
Marie-Servane Desjonquères, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 31 60 or +41 79 536 92 58