100s killed in east DRC – Oxfam

2012-08-07 18:10
March 23 Movement. (AFP)

March 23 Movement. (AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Goma - With DRC’s army diverted to fighting a new rebel group in eastern Democratic republic of Congo, new militia groups have arisen as older ones reassert themselves, killing hundreds of defenceless civilians, the British charity Oxfam reported on Tuesday.

"Vast swathes of the east have descended into chaos with no government or security presence," Oxfam country director Elodie Martel said in a statement.

Underscoring the severity of the situation, the UN humanitarian chief Baroness Valerie Amos arrived in Goma on Tuesday and is to visit some of the 280 000 people who have fled their homes since mutinying soldiers launched the M23 rebellion in April. But security is so poor that Amos was forced to cancel planned trips to the mining town of Walikale and the seat of the rebellion at Rutshuru town, 75km north of Goma.

The rebels now control huge swathes of mineral-rich eastern DRC.

As the 150 000-strong Congolese army, backed by 20 000 UN peacekeepers, has redeployed against M23 rebels in North Kivu province, fighting has spread to villages and towns, with the combatants often aiming to gain control of mines.

Oxfam researcher Marie Cacace told The Associated Press the group's report stems from information from village protection committees which report to local authorities.

"Hundreds of people have been killed in attacks against villages in South Kivu, houses burnt and people kidnapped according to local and UN reports," said the Oxfam statement, adding that recruitment of child soldiers is widespread, as is forced labour.

Protection of civilians

Oxfam called for regional leaders meeting to discuss the crisis on Tuesday and Wednesday in neighbouring Uganda to put the protection of civilians and a resolution to the regional dimensions of the conflict at the top of their agenda.

Rwanda and Uganda have been implicated in supporting the rebellion, though both countries deny it. Their leaders are expected at Tuesday's summit.

Rebels control hills within 30km of the eastern provincial capital Goma. Just miles away at Kanyaruchinya, people fleeing the fighting have taken refuge in a Catholic church and school. Those who cannot find space in buildings, or the homes of friends and relatives, have built makeshift huts of twigs and leaves.

Raspy coughs and sniffles among children at the impromptu camp are a sign of the increasing number of respiratory illnesses being treated by Doctors Without Borders. The first case of cholera was discovered at the camp last week. By Monday, the doctors said they were treating 58 cases of cholera and that one child had died at a tented isolation unit. Nurse Chantal Kaghoma said three people had died of cholera in the camp.

Cholera is endemic in the region. Since January more than 20 000 cases of cholera and 481 deaths have been reported across the country.

"The humanitarian consequences of the conflict are huge," Martel said.

DRC suffered back-to-back civil wars that drew in the armies of a half dozen nations in a scramble for its vast mineral resources that killed as many as five million people. An internationally negotiated peace deal was signed in 2002 but the conflict never ended in east DRC.

- AP
Read more on:    un  |  oxfam  |  m23  |  drc  |  central africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Sport
 

Goalkeeper saves five penalties with his FACE!

Nothing, and we mean nothing, will keep goalkeeper Scott Stirling from stopping the ball!

 
 

Men24.com

Hottie of the day: Jesselyn
This invention makes farts smell like chocolate!
11 things men don’t know about their clothes
Hilarious mortal kombat elevator prank!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to 60% on toys!

Don’t miss out on this hot offer, save up to 60% on toys. While stocks last. Shop now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 35% off books

Save up to 35% on the latest page-turners. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Grandiose ideas and plans can trip you up today. Keep things in context and take one step at a time....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.