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Hunger, Exposure Kill 10 People Displaced by North Kivu War :: Uganda Radionetwork

Hunger, Exposure Kill 10 People Displaced by North Kivu War

Humanitarian workers in Kanyabayonga say that pregnant and breastfeeding displaced women are particularly struggling to access health care services.
Civilians fleeing war in North Kivu province recently

Poor living conditions hitting displaced people in Kanyabayonga, Lubero territory North Kivu province, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo have left 10 persons dead in the last two weeks.   

The latest two deaths were recorded on Sunday and Monday (March 24-25, 2024), according to Chrysostome Kasereka Fatiri, Mayor of Kanyabayonga town.  

Kasereka says the last deaths were of a woman in her sixties and a man in his 50’s.

He says that the people were displaced by the ongoing deadly fighting between Armed Forces of Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC) soldiers and the March 23 Movement (M23) rebels in the province.

He says that one of the major challenges that the displaced people are facing is lack of food. He also says that the town is hosting about 30,000 civilians, thus calling for immediate Humanitarian support.   

Jacques Kasika Sangala, the protection officer of Umoja in Action, a non government organization in Kanyabayonga says that several pregnant and breastfeeding displaced women are seriously struggling to access health care services.  Sangala says that they are also facing difficulty in getting food to feed themselves and their children.  

He adds that due to lack of money to pay for health care accessibility, some of them have developed adverse psychological symptoms.  

Civilians started to flee to Kanyabayonga  early in March 2024, after M23 rebels captured Vitshumbi, a town situated on the shores of Lake Edward, Nyanzale and Rwindi in North Rutshuru territory.   Fighting has continued to rage despite FARDC forming a coalition with militia fighters under their umbrella Wazalendo (patriots) and troops from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) against M23 rebels.  

On Tuesday morning, fighting engulfed areas of Nyange, Gatovu and surroundings in Masisi territory.  The government army is yet to release a statement about the latest fights. But, Lawrence Kanyuka , M23 rebels political spokesperson released a statement protesting against FARDC and coalition launching attacks first.  

Kanyuka argued that M23 fighters were defending themselves.   

“Since this morning, the coalition forces of the Kinshasa regime, including the FARDC, FDLR, mercenaries, militias, the Burundi national defense forces and SADC forces, have been attacking densely populated areas in Nyange, Gatovu and their surroundings, using heavy weapons, causing the death and displacement of many compatriots," says Kanyuka.  "We strongly condemn the Kinshasa regime for its persistence in the killings of Congolese, while Regional Leaders and International Partners seek to peacefully resolve the ongoing conflict in Eastern DRC by addressing the root causes of the conflicts. The Congolese Revolutionary Army is currently defending and protecting civilian populations, while recalling that “failure to assist anyone in danger is reprehensible."

In March 2022, M23, led by Bertrand Bisimwa and General Sultan Makenga, initiated a conflict against the government. The DR Congo government accuses Rwanda of supporting M23, although both Rwanda and M23 vehemently deny these claims. The rebels assert that they are fighting against corruption, xenophobia, and discrimination within the leadership of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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