Increasing ethnic violence in DR Congo has led to serious humanitarian crisis
UN News Service
4 January 2013
The substantial increase in violence among ethnic groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has led to a serious humanitarian crisis, displacing thousands of people who live in hostile conditions, the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the country said today.
After conducting an evaluation mission last month to assess the security situation in the Masisi territory in North Kivu province, located in the country’s east, the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) reported that there has been a significant increase in the number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) at the Kilimani, Kalinga, Lushebere and Bihito camps in Masisi.(…)
MONUSCO pledged to step up its presence in Masisi with peacekeepers from its brigade in North Kivu. The peacekeeping operation has 6,700 and 4,000 troops in the provinces of North and South Kivu, respectively. North Kivu alone is four times the size of Belgium.
Since September, central Masisi has witnessed a surge in the number of ethnic-related incidents. According to MONUSCO, at the heart of the conflict are two main groups: various armed groups allied with ethnic Hutus and other ethnic Hunde armed groups such as the Mai Mai Nyatura, the Alliance patriotique pour un Congo libre et souverain, the Forces Démocratiques Congolaise, the Maï Maï Kikokota and the Maï Maï Rahiya Mutomboki.
The violence reached its peak between 3 and 29 November with attacks against the Shoa, Buabo, Banyungu, Biiri in central Masisi and Kihuma localities, leaving 40 dead. Minor incidents have since continued to be reported in the region.
The problem of armed groups in the eastern DRC has been a long-running one for many years, most recently throughout 2012, when – in addition to the activities of other armed groups – fighters from the 23 March Movement (M23) occupied the Goma, the capital of North Kivu.(…)
Amidst widespread condemnation and calls for their withdrawal, they pulled out from the city of one million after 11 days in accordance with requirements laid out by a regional inter-governmental organization, and monitored by some of the 1,500 MONUSCO peacekeepers in the city.
Read the full article