UN: Violence in eastern DRC creating new humanitarian crisis

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The United Nations says increasing violence in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is creating a new humanitarian crisis in an area already grappling with the second-largest Ebola outbreak in history.

Attacks on civilians have prompted protests against UN facilities with demonstrators angry over a perceived lack of protection provided by the organisation against rebel groups targeting civilians. The UN says violence means the safety of ai workers can no longer be guaranteed in the area.

WHO suspends aid following violence in eastern DRC

On Friday, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) said that the agency had temporarily suspended aid distribution due to the latest spate of violence. In a statement, spokesperson Hervé Verhoosel said the move was taken “because both our staff – and more importantly the staff of the partners who are working with us on the ground – the security was not guaranteed anymore, and the access was very difficult.”

UNHCR says the violence is hampering efforts to tackle the spread of Ebola in one of the outbreak’s hotspots. As of 26 November, a total of 3,304 cases of Ebola have been reported, of which 2,199 people have died since the outbreak was declared on 1 August 2018, WHO reports.

UNHCR spokesperson Charlie Yaxley says children are especially vulnerable with armed groups preying on them.

“Forced recruitment by armed groups is a real threat to the safety of children and women also face widespread sexual violence, abuse and risk of exploitation,” he said.

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About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.