UNICEF warns of the increase in displaced people in Ituri and denounces that the area is “inaccessible” by land due to the presence of armed groups
, Dec 9 () –
Three workers of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) have been injured after an attack on a convoy escorted by the ‘blue helmets’ in the area of Mambassa, in the province of Ituri, in the northeast of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
The attack, perpetrated by unidentified individuals, occurred in a transfer of UNHCR staff from the city of Beni, on the edge of the Ituri forest, to the territory of Kirumba, a city in the Kivu province of the North, after the team provided humanitarian aid in the area.
“They have been taken to a safe place and transferred to the hospital, where they will receive treatment,” according to a statement from the organization, which has been “shocked” by the attack and has called for respect and protection of both civilians and civilians. humanitarian workers.
The spokesman for the UN General Secretariat, Stéphane Dujarric, stressed in a statement that “attacks against United Nations personnel may constitute a war crime” and wished “a speedy and complete recovery for the injured members.”
“It calls on the Congolese authorities to spare no effort to promptly investigate and hold the perpetrators of this unacceptable attack accountable,” Dujarric said.
INCREASE OF DISPLACED IN ITURI
On the other hand, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has warned in a statement that in the province of Ituri there are about 75,000 displaced people in a camp, in the Rhoe area, which has quadrupled in the last two weeks and that it is inaccessible by land for humanitarian workers due to the presence of armed groups in the area. Of the total, there are at least 35,000 children, including more than 60 who have been separated from their parents.
In fact, an estimated 50,000 people have arrived in the last two weeks at this camp, 45 kilometers northeast of Bunia, the provincial capital, after several attacks by armed groups in the Drodro and Tche camps, a situation that it has forced thousands of people to seek refuge in the east. The military has also destroyed several schools and hospitals in the area.
“The displaced people fled to Rhoe in the hope of finding some kind of safety and protection,” Ibrahim Cisse, UNICEF officer in charge of the Bunia area, said in a statement, noting that within these shelters “absolutely overcrowded and unhealthy “the displaced face” serious problems of food, sanitation, shelter, protection and security. “
On the other hand, UNICEF has documented the rape of at least 13 girls when they tried to find food in the grounds adjacent to the camp, an area of uneven terrain and where water is scarce, so the children go down the hill to collect drinking water from the camp. river, exposing themselves to violence from armed groups and also to diseases such as malaria or diarrhea.
The Rhoe camp has a health center, but the organization advises that there are few beds, that the staff do 180 consultations a day and that they do not have the capacity to send critically ill patients to hospitals due to lack of equipment.