Goma, 3 January 2012 - The locality of Waloa Yungu, in Walikale territory, some 100 kilometers northwest of Goma, capital of Nord-Kivu province, is now looking like a ghost town. Regular fighting between rival armed groups has displaced hundreds of people, bringing to a halt local economic activity.
It is estimated that at least 1000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) have poured into Kimua, the administrative center of Waloa Yungu, seeking refuge near the base of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO), which is guarded by Uruguayan peacekeepers. This village has only one health center, which has now run out of medical supply. The local primary and secondary schools remain closed because the pupils and their teachers are among the displaced, all of whom are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance.
MONUSCO peacekeepers are providing the IDPs with medical assistance, including essential medicine when needed. They are also protecting the areas where the IDPs live. In addition to the assistance the peacekeepers are providing, the villagers have resorted to collecting wild fruits for their survival. They are calling on Congolese authorities and humanitarian aid agencies for more assistance.
This situation, it will be remembered, came about because of insecurity from the ongoing fighting between the Force de Défense congolaise (FDC) and the Forces démocratiques pour la Libération du Rwanda (FDLR). The FDC is a splinter group of the “Guides”, a local militia which surfaced a year ago in the villages of Nyamaboko I and II, in Masisi territory. Their goal, they claim, is to flush out the FDLR from Masisi and Walikale territories.
Nyangi Bernardin/ Radio Okapi/ MONUSCO