Georgieva warns of growing violence in Congo

26.06.2012 - 16:27

In view of the rapidly worsening humanitarian situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the EU Humanitarian Aid Commissioner, Kristalina Georgieva, harshly condemned the recent developments in North Kivu.

Georgieva stressed that “populations are being taken hostage and are paying a heavy price because of the fighting between armed groups and the regular Congolese army. Innocent people are being killed, raped and forced to flee their homes”.

Commissioner pointed out that the foreign humanitarians have reached the absolute limit of their ability to respond to the needs of the people and strongly appealed to the armed groups “to stop the fighting, spare civilian populations and ensure access for humanitarian workers”.

Since the beginning of April, over 220,000 people have been newly displaced in North Kivu, with hundreds of Congolese fleeing to Rwanda and Uganda every day, trying to save their lives. More than 12,000 refugees have already settled in camps in Rwanda.

There are now more than 1.4 million internally displaced persons in Eastern Congo, while their total number in the country exceeds 2 million. In the ongoing conflicts during the last three months over 300 people have been killed and hundreds of women have suffered sexual violence.