Last updateDim, 01 Fév 2015 11am

DR Congo: UN says 400,000 people displaced in DRC's Katanga province

The UN says more than 400,000 people have been displaced recently in the so-called 'Triangle of Death', an area between the towns of Pweto, Mitwaba and Manono in the Katanga province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on Thursday said that about 600 homes in 11 villages had been destroyed since October, describing it as 'a dramatic increase' in the last two years.

OCHA in a statement obtained by PANA in New York, quoted the UN Special Representative for the DRC, Mr. Martin Kobler, as saying that he was 'extremely concerned' by the deterioration of the humanitarian situation in the southern province.

Mr. Kobler urged all armed groups must stop their activities and allow humanitarian access to the main victims of this tragedy, who were the civilian populations.

He said that the UN Mission in DRC had reported that most of the attacks in the region were perpetrated by Mayi-Mayi Katanga, one of the rebel groups known to operate in the country.

OCHA also reported that fighting in the DRC between the government and rebels, including the M23 who were defeated by the national army with UN support last month, as well as the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) and others, had displaced 2.9 million people.

The DRC has been torn apart by civil wars and factional fighting since its independence in 1960, but with the support of a series of UN missions, a measure of stability has been restored to much of the vast country over the past decade.

However, fighting between the government and a variety of rebel and sectarian groups has continued to devastate the eastern regions, particularly North and South Kivu provinces.

In March, the UN Security Council authorized the deployment of an intervention brigade within the UN Mission in DRC (MONUSCO), based in North Kivu province, with a total of 3,069 peacekeepers, to carry out targeted offensive operations, with or without DR Congo national armed forces, against armed groups threatening peace in that part of the country.

Pana 31/01/2014