DR Congo

Dangers increase for displaced in eastern DR Congo, UN says

Murder, torture, arbitrary detention and looting are devastating civilians in growing numbers in the northeast region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the United Nations humanitarian branch said today.

The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that in the last six months continuing clashes between militias and Government forces have displaced 260,000 people, with the humanitarian situation in the North Kivu province, in particular, deteriorating badly.

The northeast has long been the most unstable region in the vast DRC, and about 85 per cent of the more than 17,000 peacekeepers and military observers in the UN Organization Mission in the DRC (MONUC) are deployed in that part of the country.

UN agencies and their partners are preparing contingency plans to cover the needs of the displaced, OCHA said, but the UN has received only about a fifth of the funds it is seeking for the relief effort.