Friday, 9 August 2013

Thousands of DR Congo displaced need urgent aid

Thousands of DR Congo displaced need urgent aid 
Congolese refugees in a Bundibugyo camp in eastern Uganda.
Thousands of people who fled attacks by a Uganda-led rebel group in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo's Kamango need urgent aid, the UN humanitarian office said Wednesday.

The town of Kamango in the northernmost part of DR Congo's unstable North Kivu province was attacked and briefly occupied on July 11 by rebels from the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF).

The Congolese army regained control of Kamango a day later, but the Red Cross estimated that some 66,000 people had fled to Uganda.

On Wednesday, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said water, food and healthcare is urgently needed in Kamango.

OCHA said a mission which travelled to the region at the end of July estimated that some 37,500 people remained displaced in the zone (of Kamango), with the majority in the area of Nobili, located close to the Ugandan border.

Another 9,000 displaced people have already returned home, said the UN agency.

Some 80 percent of displaced families were facing hunger as they were not only unable to get access to their crops, but also unable to buy basic food supplies from local markets.

In addition, "these people... have no access to healthcare, as health infrastructures have borne the brunt of the violence.

"Of 13 health structures in the zone of Kamango, only one remains functional, all others have been pillaged, destroyed or emptied of their medical personnel," said OCHA, adding that there was little access to drinking water.

The ADF was formed in the mid-1990s in the Rwenzori mountains in western Uganda, close to the DR Congo border.

Part of the ADF is now based in DR Congo after Ugandan government forces attacked their bases two years ago.