14 June 2022 - Congo (Kinshasa)

JOINT STATEMENT: International NGOs working in the Democratic Republic of the Congo condemn repeated deadly attacks on displaced civilians.

Goma, 14 June 2022: On Wednesday the 8th of June, armed men attacked a camp in Kashuga, North Kivu province, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where families had sought safety after fleeing conflict between armed groups and the national armed forces (FARDC), leaving seven people dead. They are just the latest victims in a series of 16 brutal and targeted attacks on displacement camps in South Kivu, North Kivu, and Ituri provinces, which have taken the lives of more than 185 men, women and children over the last 12 months. A further 82 people have been wounded. 

One male resident (aged 28) who survived an attack on a camp for displaced people in February said: “They tore the tents and they beheaded my daughter. I have no strength left; I can’t fight to find food for my children. To the world, I could only plead to help us start again, for ways to make money, for clothes and care. I want the peace to return so I can work again.” 

We, the undersigned, condemn without reservation attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure, such as schools and hospitals. Violence against civilians, even during times of conflict, is prohibited under international humanitarian law. Attacks on schools and hospitals are a grave violation of child rights in conflict. 

We call on all parties to put an end to atrocities against civilians, attacks on civilian infrastructure, and impunity for these actions.

We call on the authorities to restore peace and to ensure civilians are safe in areas of displacement and return, and to undertake effective investigations and bring to justice those responsible for human rights violations. 

We call on DRC’s bi-lateral partners to support the Regional Oversight Mechanism, and mediation efforts driven by the African Union and others on the continent, to help bring an end to this brutal conflict.

Signatories:

  • Action contre la Faim
  • Danish Refugee Council
  • Magna
  • Medair
  • Mercy Corps
  • Norwegian Refugee Council
  • Save the Children
  • Solidarités International 

Notes to editors:

  • Kashuga is a town in Masisi Territory, in North Kivu.
  • According to the Protection Cluster, there have been a total of 16 attacks on camps for displaced people since May 2021, killing 185 men, women and children, and wounding another 82.
  •  Of the 16 total attacks on displaced people, nine were in Ituri; six were in North Kivu, and one was in South Kivu.
  • Across the DRC more than 5.5 million people are currently displaced (IDMC); the country also hosts more than 500,000 refugees from Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan and CAR.
  • DRC is currently one of the world’s largest hunger crisis, with 27 million people going hungry. 

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For further enquiries please contact:

Florence Cissé, Regional Media Manager, WCA (Dakar) - florence.cisse@savethechildren.org / +221 77 359 07 77