It has been a month since a truce agreement brought an end to most recent fighting between Rwandan and Ugandan forces in the Kisangani area. Still, the region remains unstable and indiscriminate clashes continue. The IRC and other NGOs are operating under a lengthy curfew, making it difficult to come to the aid of 30,000 displaced people and thousands more vulnerable residents in an around Kisangani. In a report to IRC headquarters, Johnson said, "Civilians are being subjected to military intimidation and looting. IDPs are scared to return home, fearing the military and afraid that their houses have been destroyed. In general, the plight of IDPs is not much worse than that of other citizens. Most have been integrated into host families. About 3,000 are residing in Katele Camp, and the population there is expanding regularly. Many others are hiding in the bush. Food is scarce and extremely expensive. Basic household items are not available and medicines are provided only through international assistance. Some schools and health clinics remain open, although most health care workers and teachers have not been paid in over a year."
Media inquiries can be made to:
Melissa Winkler, director of communications
tel. (212) 551-0972 or Melissa@theIRC.org
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