Time to end the horrors of this man-made emergency – ASG Kang in North Kivu

from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 28 May 2013

(Goma/New York, 28 May 2013): United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Kyung-Wha Kang met displaced people at Sotraki site near Goma in North Kivu, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), on Tuesday. Some 3,000 people have sought refuge at the site since fighting broke out last week between the Congolese Army and the M23 armed movement. These newly-displaced people are the latest victims of a complex and protracted humanitarian crisis in eastern DRC that has taken countless lives and uprooted more than 3 million people.

“The latest fighting on the outskirts of Goma shows how fragile the situation is in North Kivu,” ASG Kang said in Goma. “The killing of civilians by shelling last week is unacceptable and I call on all parties engaged in armed conflict to fully respect International Humanitarian Law. The immense suffering of the people in North Kivu and other parts of the DRC where violence continues has gone on for too long. It is time to end the horrors of this man-made emergency.”

Visiting Sotraki on the second day of her four-day trip to the DRC, Ms. Kang was accompanied by the Humanitarian Coordinator, Mr. Moustapha Soumaré. They saw the work of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), UN agencies and other humanitarian partners that are providing emergency aid to newly displaced people.

In Kinshasa where she began her trip on Monday, Ms. Kang held discussions with Government officials, NGOs and senior humanitarian officials. They discussed issues including the protection of civilians, a more enabling environment for humanitarian actors, and the continued and heightened need for large-scale humanitarian response.

North Kivu is home to some 973,000 internally displaced people - one third of the 2.6 million IDPs in the DRC. The multi-ethnic province, rich in mineral resources, has been the epicentre of a multifaceted-crisis for nearly two decades. Many people have fled their homes on multiple occasions and are reliant on humanitarian aid – emergency shelter, food, water and sanitation – delivered by humanitarian organizations in a tense security environment, while they wait for peace.

“The path to lasting peace will be long, but we must remain hopeful and courageous,” Ms Kang said.

For further information, please call
Yvon Edoumou, OCHA DRC, edoumou@un..org, Tel. +243 97 000 3750, Cell +243 82 242 6342
Jens Laerke, OCHA Geneva, laerke@un.org, Tel. +41 22 917 11 42 Cell +41 (0)79 472 9750
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