Heavy fighting between the Congolese army and rebel groups have left civilians alone under extreme conditions in the already unsafe refugee camps of Irumu territory, DR Congo.
In the crossfire between Federal army of the Democratic republic of Congo (FARDC) and The front of Patriotic Resistance (FRPI), some civilians, including three hospitalized persons, were forced to leave the camps, of the war-tormented Irumu terrority, and return to their villages for food and protection.
– Women and children fled barefeet without anything. Tears were in their eyes, reported director Jepolck Kasika of Great Actions for Development (GAD) from Irumu this weekend.
– Among the people who fled, some are reported to have died on the road. 23 people are wounded. Nine of them were pregant, Mr. Kasika said.
Refugee camps, once thought to be a safe haven for people subjected to massacres, brutal assasinations and sexual violence, are now proven to be just as dangerous as the villages they oncle left.
The armed conflict surrounding the camps blocks access to food, health care and school equipment, according to GAD.
Ways to help
As of January 23 the number of internally displaced in the Irumu territory exceeded 8600. Together with other local volunteers in GAD the young director has spent this weekend mapping the most urgent needs of those left in the camps:
- Birth kits for pregnant women to prevent mortality
- 75 USD to each household, in order to rebuild loothed and burnt down homes in the villages of origin
- School kits of notebooks, text books and pens to pupils of primary school
- Seeds of cabbage, beans and carrots etc to become self sufficient