MSF Sounds Alarm on Deteriorating Security Situation in Eastern DRC

Soukaina Sghir
Soukaina Sghir
3 Min Read
MSF

The security situation in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has reached alarming levels, according to Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). In recent days, medical facilities supported by the organization in North Kivu have faced a significant influx of war casualties, alongside mass displacements resulting from recent armed clashes.

As civilians and healthcare establishments find themselves trapped in the crossfire, humanitarian organizations are urgently appealing to all parties involved in the conflict to ensure the safety of patients, medical personnel, and healthcare infrastructure.

In the town center of Mweso, located in the Masisi territory, several houses have been struck by explosives in recent weeks, resulting in civilian casualties. Reports from MSF indicate that during the week of January 22 alone, approximately 20 civilians, including a child, lost their lives, while 41 others sustained injuries.

On February 2nd, an explosive device hit the area between the Mweso hospital and the MSF base. A week prior, bullets from various directions reached the MSF base and the Mweso hospital, injuring a healthcare worker.

War Casualties

In January, particularly in the last two weeks of the month, MSF medical teams, in collaboration with the Congolese Ministry of Health, treated 67 war casualties, primarily victims of gunshot wounds or explosions. More than fifty of these patients were civilians, including 21 children, as “the battles are taking place very close to the city,” explains Nathalia Torrent, MSF’s response coordinator in Goma.

Far from abating, the conflict is now spreading southward, affecting the South Kivu region and triggering a new wave of displacement. At the Minova General Reference Hospital, medical staff treated around thirty casualties between February 2 and 6, according to MSF reports.

Concurrently, member organizations of the International NGOs Forum in the DRC are reporting concerning incidents of targeted killings, forced disappearances, and civilian harassment by conflict parties. Luc Lamprière, the Forum’s director, emphasized the urgent need for action to protect civilians and ensure humanitarian access.

The escalating violence in eastern DRC not only poses immediate threats to the lives and well-being of civilians but also undermines efforts to provide essential medical care and humanitarian assistance in the region. As the situation continues to deteriorate, concerted action from all stakeholders is imperative to mitigate further suffering and address the root causes of the conflict.

Weafrica24

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