• Live
    • Audio Only
  • google plus
  • facebook
  • twitter
News > Democratic Republic of Congo

International NGOs Alert of Humanitarian Situation in Congo

  • Map of Congo. Jun. 29, 2023.

    Map of Congo. Jun. 29, 2023. | Photo: Twitter/@Bahamaspress

Published 29 June 2023

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs warned of "outbreaks of violence" and "increased humanitarian needs" in eastern DRC.

More than 2,750 civilians have been killed since the beginning of the year in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), international non-governmental organizations reported, calling for an urgent humanitarian mobilization.


MONUSCO Withdrawing From DR Congo Initiated

The death toll mentioned was contained in a statement issued by the Forum of International Non-Governmental Organizations in the DRC.

The Forum stated that "in many areas, the presence of active non-state armed groups exacerbates the ongoing cycle of violence, leading to the displacement of large numbers of the population and exacerbating the already fragile humanitarian situation."

For its part, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs warned of "outbreaks of violence" and "increased humanitarian needs" in eastern DRC, and the United Nations listed the seriousness of this crisis at the "highest level".

Two days later, Doctors Without Borders called for a "rapid and significant increase" in humanitarian aid for eastern DRC "in the face of a crisis of historic proportions in North Kivu," one of the regions hardest hit by nearly 30 years of violence.

In its statement, the International Non-Governmental Organizations Forum noted a "rapid and alarming deterioration" of the humanitarian situation in the east of the country

The organizations expressed "concern about the shrinking space for humanitarian action," noting that this is linked to the "return of bloody violence" resulting from "conflicts and the militarization of the region."

In addition to increasing humanitarian aid, the organizations called on the international community to "strengthen its political and diplomatic commitment with the aim of finding a solution and putting an end to this continuing cycle of violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo."

Conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC; the Congo) has been ongoing since the 1990s. The country has faced political repression and instability since it achieved independence in 1960. Despite its massive human capital and resource endowment, peace has eluded the Congo, and human security challenges proliferate. Currently, the eastern DRC is the site of ethnic conflict and violent resource competition involving ethnic militias, Congolese security forces, UN troops, and complex external interests.

Since 1996, conflict in eastern DRC has led to approximately six million deaths. This began in the wake of the 1994 Rwandan Genocide, during which ethnic Hutu extremists killed an estimated one million minority ethnic Tutsis and non-extremist Hutus in Rwanda (DRC’s neighbor to the east). During and following the genocide, nearly two million Hutu refugees crossed the Congolese border,

Weak governance and the presence of various armed groups have subjected Congolese civilians to widespread rape and sexual violence, massive human rights violations, and extreme poverty. The African Union (AU), United Nations (UN), and neighboring countries have struggled to address threats posed by rebel groups, promote development, and improve humanitarian conditions. Violence in the DRC may eventually spill over into Burundi, Rwanda, and Uganda—countries with longstanding ties to the United States.

The political situation:

Opposition leader Félix Tshisekedi was declared the winner of DRC’s December 2018 elections. The transfer of power from former President Joseph Kabila, who ruled for eighteen years and delayed the elections multiple times, marked the first peaceful transfer of power in the DRC’s history.

In 2022, despite the formal normalization of relations, renewed tension amounted between DRC and Rwanda. M23 rebels resurfaced after a five-year period of inactivity and began escalating attacks against Congolese troops. Kinshasa accused Kigali of funding and supporting M23’s resurgence (an accusation supported by the African Union and the United States). In return, Kigali accused Kinshasa of once again supporting Hutu extremist militias and increased its military presence inside The Congo. Rwanda and Uganda—and militias with their support—have financial stakes in Congolese mines (though they are not always legitimate), adding fuel to the fire. Rwanda and DRC have been on a war footing since the end of 2022.

In 2023, DRC is home to an estimated 5.7 million internally displaced people in urgent need of more than 2 billion dollars in medical and other aid. Nearly a million Congolese nationals are seeking refuge in other African states. Exacerbating this need for assistance, the UN has had to suspend air deliveries of aid to certain eastern provinces in the face of attacks on its convoys. While France to urge the European Union to support peace talks in DRC and sanction Rwanda for its support of M23, President Tshidekedi also raised the specter of delaying national elections. Violence continue to come in waves in Eastern DRC, and civilian casualties remain on the rise.

Post with no comments.