In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), more and more civilians are still being forced from their homes. In total, more than 5 million Congolese are considered displaced, according to the UN, and the recent fighting around Kitchanga continues to worry humanitarians.
For a dozen days, it has been impossible to supply the Monusco base camp in Kitchanga, recently taken by the M23 rebels. Hundreds of Congolese civilians are protected on the spot by blue helmets but are increasingly threatened and cut off from the world, according to the coordinator of humanitarian affairs.
“500 people took refuge at the Monusco base in Kintchanga. These individuals reside within the base and in its immediate vicinity. So it really is an emergency. Interested parties must grant access. So far this has not been the case. So far we have had great difficulty in obtaining such a permit to help people in need, especially in areas controlled by the M23,” warns Bruno Lemarquis, UN Humanitarian Coordinator in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The Monusco convoy tried to supply the Kitchanga camp last weekend but had to return to Saké due to hostility from the population. Since then, humanitarian organizations have stepped up efforts to intensify “accession” negotiations. Meanwhile, recent fighting around Kitchang has caused 122,000 Congolese to flee their homes, according to the United Nations.
This Tuesday, February 7, Joyce Msuya, number 2 of the UN for Humanitarian Affairs, is in Goma. She visited the Kanyaruchinya camp, a huge open-air camp that hosts hundreds of thousands of Congolese who have fled the fighting in the areas occupied by the M23 for a year.