Statement attributable to the Humanitarian Coordinator in the Dem. Rep. of the Congo, Moustapha Soumaré, on the killing of health workers and civilians and the displacement of thousands of people in Orientale province

from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 26 Sep 2013

Kinshasa, 26 September 2013

The killing of 10 civilians including three health workers this week in Geti in the Ituri district of Orientale province is unacceptable and unjustifiable. These are the latest victims in a month-long escalation of violence and I remind all parties to the violence they have an obligation in accordance with international law to ensure that civilians and aid workers are spared the effects of hostilities.

Armed hostilities between Government forces and the group Forces de Résistance Patriotiques en Ituri intensified earlier this month and 60,000 people have been forced to flee from their homes in South Irumu in Ituri. More than 100,000 people are now in urgent need of relief and I am deeply concerned about the deteriorating humanitarian and security situation.

Since the conflict flared up earlier this month, the UN and humanitarian partners have delivered 1.8 tons of medicine covering the needs of some 80,000 people, 80 tons of food sufficient for 4,000 people for one month, and essential household items to the affected area. However, much more needs to be done. The majority of the 100,000 people in need have not yet been reached and the conflict continues to displace people. The most urgent needs are protection, food, health care, clean water and essential household items.

Humanitarian agencies have difficulties reaching those in need in areas where heavy fighting continues. It is vital that all parties to the conflict ensure safe and unhindered access to people in distress.

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