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Democratic Republic of the Congo: ever more displaced people and war casualties


More than 10,000 displaced people have gathered in a makeshift camp in North Kivu. All that they ask is to be able to go home. Their plight is worsening, however, and the ICRC fears for their physical well-being. Furthermore, there have been rising numbers of war casualties in the Kivus and some die from want of care.

"What we want most of all is help bringing peace back to our country, so that we can return home and work our fields. We want to go back and live normal lives again," said Emmanuel, who fled the fighting.

Emmanuel and 10,000 others have gathered in a makeshift camp at the foot of the volcano Nyiragongo, west of Goma. The temporary camp, called Magunga I, accommodates people who have fled the rising violence in North Kivu over the past several months.

In August, in response to their utter destitution, the ICRC brought them corn flour, beans, cooking oil and items such as tarpaulins providing protection from the cold and rain, blankets, sleeping mats, and jerrycans for fetching water. It was able to do so thanks to the help provided by volunteers of the Red Cross Society of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. 

"The past three months have been marked by a severe lack of security in the east of the country, which has had a considerable impact on people in those areas. The plight of civilians is extremely worrying. We are calling on all concerned to ensure that civilians and persons hors de combat are protected and spared the effects of violence," said Franz Rauchenstein, the head of the ICRC delegation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.


 Photo Reuters, J. Akena. Near Goma, DRC. Families flee the fighting.

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