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Archive for the tag “Gen. Muhindo Akili Mundos”

Displaced by DR Congo violence, survivors’ testimonies highlight brutality of armed militia (16.08.2019)

General view of the ISP camp for internally displaced people next to the General Hospital in Bunia.

Severe underfunding for aid work and insecurity involving the Hema and Lendu groups have meant that increasing numbers are vulnerable.

NEW YORK, United States of America, August 16, 2019 – Two months since hundreds of thousands of people fled violence in north-eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), UN humanitarians warned on Friday that armed militia continue to make their safe return impossible.

Briefing journalists in Geneva, UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) Spokesperson Babar Baloch, said that staff had heard numerous testimonies from people whose family members had been killed in Ituri province.

Severe underfunding for aid work and insecurity involving the Hema and Lendu groups have meant that increasing numbers are vulnerable and unable even to go home to pick up essentials, he added.

“These people are not even able to return,” Mr. Baloch said. “Many of them have reported people who have tried – or relatives who have tried – to return to their villages and to their homes have been reportedly attacked and killed.” 

Ebola efforts hindered by mass displacement of people ‘on the run’

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the mass displacement of people “on the run” has also hindered efforts to tackle the year-old Ebola virus outbreak.

Latest data from the UN health agency published on Thursday indicated a total of 2,842 Ebola infections and 1,905 deaths in DRC’s Ituri and Nord Kivu provinces, with an overall fatality rate of 67 per cent.

“The (Ebola) treatment centres are operational and the scenario of people – a highly mobile population on the run – is something that has been underlying in this response since the beginning, which is why it is so difficult to end it,” said WHO spokesperson Christian Lindmeier.

Evidence of beheadings, several massacres

The Hema and Lendu communities have a history of extreme violence in Ituri.

In late June, the UN Human Rights office, OHCHR, reported attacks on “multiple villages” in Djugu and Mahagi territories, where investigators found evidence of several massacres where some victims had been beheaded.

Information gathered by the UN “seems to indicate that despite the attackers reportedly belong to one community, and the victims to others, there appear to be additional political and economic motives underlying the assaults”, OHCHR said in a statement at the time.

In the latest violence, attacks and counter-attacks forced people to flee Djugu territory, UNHCR said, adding that both communities had reportedly formed self-defence groups and carried out revenge killings.

“In the last three weeks of June alone, more than 145,000 newly displaced people sought safety and assistance in the displacement sites across Ituri, while 215,000 were estimated to have fled to the neighbouring areas,” Mr. Baloch said, in line with UNHCR’s earlier statements highlighting widespread displacement in late 2017 and early 2018 in three of Ituri’s five administrative territories: Djugu, Mahagi and Irumu.

“Difficulties with access in some places and the large area from which people have fled means the real figure is difficult to verify,” the UNHCR official warned. “Thousands have continued to flee since, although at lower rates.”  

While most of the displaced have found shelter with host communities, tens of thousands have been forced to find shelter where they can.

Squalid camps, where fear rules

“Fear and squalor” prevail in displacement camps, Mr. Baloch insisted, adding that many “are forced to sleep in the open”. 

In Drodro, a relatively small town that has seen its population triple in just a few weeks, “local schools and churches have transformed into large, squalid dormitories,” he said, noting that UNHCR has built emergency hangars for those sleeping in the open, and individual shelters for the most vulnerable.

Funding for this humanitarian crisis remains critically low, however, and UNHCR is appealing to the international community to come forward with further funding and allow humanitarian organizations to provide basic, life-saving assistance.

So far this year, UNHCR has received only 32 per cent of the $150 million needed for its operations.

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Two months on, fear and squalor prevail in Democratic Republic of the Congo’s (DRC) Ituri Province (16.08.2019)

General view of the ISP camp for internally displaced people next to the General Hospital in Bunia.

This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Babar Baloch – to whom quoted text may be attributed – at today’s press briefing at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

GENEVA, Switzerland, August 16, 2019 – Two months on since violence forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes in the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s eastern province of Ituri, severe underfunding and growing insecurity mean rising numbers are in need of humanitarian assistance and are unable to return home.

In the last three weeks of June alone, more than 145,000 newly displaced people sought safety and assistance in displacement sites across Ituri, while 215,000 more are estimated to have fled to neighbouring areas. Difficulties with access in some places, and the large area from which people have fled, means the real figure is difficult to verify. Thousands have continued to flee since, although at lower rates.

Ongoing violence between militia groups means many fear to return home. During a recent trip to the town of Djugu to provide assistance, staff of UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, found empty village after empty village and countless torched and abandoned houses.

People have been forced to find shelter wherever they can. Some have been taken in by other families. Many are forced to sleep in the open. Drodro, a relatively small town, has seen its population triple in just a few weeks, as local schools and churches have transformed into large, squalid dormitories.

Our staff have heard numerous testimonies from people who had lost family members. Some who had tried to return home to collect food and possessions were killed by armed groups as a warning to others not to return. There is prevailing fear for what the future holds.

The most urgent needs are for shelter, water, sanitation, healthcare and food. Overcrowded conditions are putting women and girls at high risk of sexual and gender-based violence. Poor hygiene conditions caused by the lack of clean water and latrines is increasing the risk of diseases spreading.

UNHCR is providing assistance at the displacement sites, where we are building collective emergency hangars for those sleeping in the open, and individual shelters for the most vulnerable families. However, new shelters are urgently needed to allow people to vacate schools before the new school term begins in early September. Basic household items are being provided but needs are far outweighing UNHCR’s current stocks.

Funding for this humanitarian crisis remains critically low. UNHCR is appealing to the international community to come forward with further funding and allow humanitarian organizations to provide basic, life-saving assistance. So far this year, UNHCR has received just 32% of the US$150 million needed for our operations.

RDC: FARDC 34eme Region Militaire – Communique de Presse (15.08.2019)

Update on Ebola drug trial: two strong performers identified (13.08.2019)

Two out of the four drugs being tested are more effective in treating Ebola.

GENEVA, Switzerland, August 13, 2019 -The co-sponsors of the Ebola therapeutics trial in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) have announced advances that will bring patients a better chance of survival. Two out of the four drugs being tested are more effective in treating Ebola. Moving forward, these are the only drugs that future patients will be treated with. Details of the changes are available in this WHO/NIAID/INRB release.

This WHO initiative is the first-ever multi-drug randomized control trial aimed at evaluating the safety and efficacy of four drugs used for treatment of Ebola patients. Initially developed as a multi-outbreak, multi-country study, PALM (“Together save lives”) was launched in November 2018. It is part of the emergency response in DRC, in collaboration with a broad alliance of partners, including the DRC’s National Institute for Biomedical Research (INRB), Ministry of Health, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), which is part of the United States’ National Institutes of Health, Alliance for International Medical Action (ALIMA), Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), the International Medical Corps (IMC), and other organizations.

In addition to researching the best treatments for Ebola, other efforts by team members and partners in the field are also critical in impacting survival rates. Teams of epidemiologists and community members work with communities to identify cases and provide care as quickly as possible. The teams ensure contacts are vaccinated against the disease and that their health is monitored for three weeks. Active case finding, contact tracing, and community acceptance of these teams are vital to ending the outbreak.

WHO is committed to continuing to work closely with the ministries of health of DRC and neighboring countries, and other international partners to ensure the outbreak response remains robust and well-coordinated. We will continue to conduct rigorous research and incorporate findings into the Ebola outbreak response through a variety of prevention and control strategies.

RDC: ECIDE – Lgue des Jeunes – Message de Soutien a la Jeunesse de l’Est de la RDC (12.08.2019)

RDC: Alliance Des Forces Democratiques du Congo et Allies “AFDC-A” – “Objet: Information: Organisation d’une marche par les Federation de la Villa Kinsahasa, ce jeudi 15 aout 2019” (12.08.2019)

RDC: Lucha & Diamnt Noir – Informations Importantes sur la Suite de la Campagne #StopEbola (10.08.2019)

RDC: CERF allocates $10 million to the Ebola response in DR Congo (09.08.2019)

RDC: ACAJ – ‘Concerne: Demande d’audit’ (09.08.2019)

RDC: Muhondo Nzangi Butondo lettre du President Tshisekedi – “Objet: Genocide de Beni: Silence et inaction” (08.08.2019)

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