Friday, August 9, 2013

DR Congo: Kamango needs us now.

New Vision reports

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.

This situation was entirely predictable I blogged about it in July it would seem that once again the world has turned its back on the the people of the Eastern DR Congo.

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.

It is a positive development that people have been able to return but we can not expect them to rebuild without help. When the New Zealand city of Christchurch was hit by a devastating earthquake it the world rolled up and gave us help despite New Zealand being one of the richest nations in the world and having the means to rebuild ourselves.

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 solution is fairly basic in the the short term it requires money and not by western standards an awful lot. That we again have failed to do anything speaks volumes about us. We have the ability to make a real difference but we have chosen not to.

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.

I would dearly love to see the ADF punished by the Intervention Brigade ( Africa Brigade ) for this. That however is secondary to rebuilding and supporting the people of Kamango and providing them with the security they need to move forward.


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