UN: Armed attacks kill hundreds in DR Congo since January
The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) warns that armed attacks against civilians in northeastern regions of the Democratic Republic of Congo are on the rise.
According to UN figures, almost 200 people have been killed in the Beni Territory of North Kivu and nearby villages in Ituri province with dozens more being injured and an estimated 40,000 displaced from their homes, since the start of the year.
UN warns of increased attacks against civilians
In less than three months, attacks blamed on the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) have raided 25 villages, setting fire to homes, brutally murdering civilians and kidnapping more than 70 people. Almost 200 civilians have been killed in these attacks, in addition to the 465 people previously killed in ADF attacks since 2020.
The attacks are largely believed to be retaliation to military campaigns against the ADF carried out by the national army.
Aside from the increasing death toll, the impact upon the lives of displaced people is causing a humanitarian crisis in the DRC.
“Displaced people are living in dire conditions without shelter, food, water or health care,” UNHCR said ina statement. “In the context of Ebola and COVID-19, the lack of access to toilets, clean water, soap and menstrual hygiene products is of particular concern. In addition, families do not have enough essential items like blankets, sleeping mats or cooking materials.”
Featured image: UNHCR.org