DR Congo

Refugees International conducting assessment mission in the Ituri region of DR Congo

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Refugees International Advocate Anne Edgerton is presently conducting a humanitarian assessment mission in the Ituri region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. As RI reported in our first report in the Forgotten People series [Ituri District of the DRC] Ituri is experiencing large-scale displacement as the result of ethnic conflict that is a product of the wider civil war in the Congo. The UN estimates that 500,000 people are displaced in this region alone and insecurity presents humanitarian agencies from reaching people in need. Recent reports of cannibalism and rape by parties to the conflict forced the personnel of MONUC, the UN peacekeeping force in the Congo, to investigate, but whether these investigations have served to reduce the abuses is unclear, and a question that Anne herself is examining.
RI is focusing on assessing the overall situation for the displaced, with particular attention to the needs of vulnerable women and children. Anne will reach the towns of Beni and Bunia by air, and then travel into the countryside to the extent that security conditions will permit. She will also visit regions of Uganda where recent refugees from Ituri have found asylum.

Anne will return to the United States on February 28th.