Skip to content

UN Humanitarians Fear for 500,000 Displaced People in Eastern DRC

Storyline:National News

UNITED NATIONS, Xinhua: UN humanitarians said on Friday they are deeply concerned for more than 500,000 displaced people sheltering in and around Goma from eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) violence.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that precarious conditions and escalating threats facing the displaced people in and around Goma raised concerns.

“More than 500,000 people currently live in displacement sites around the city after fleeing clashes between the Congolese army and armed groups in the Masisi and Rutshuru territories, in North-Kivu,” OCHA said. “Since early March, several incidents of shelling and accidental grenade explosions in and around displacement sites in Goma have killed eight people and wounded 34.”

The office said it is not entirely the proximity to the frontlines that are increasingly putting displaced people at risk but also the presence of weapons within the campsites.

The DRC government requested peacekeepers from the UN mission in the country, known as MONUSCO, to leave, complaining it was not protecting civilians from widespread violence in the easternmost provinces from several attacks on villagers.

The UN Security Council authorized a withdrawal, and the mission is complying. It already is in the stand-down process.