Mar 18, 2013

Displaced By War

   Fighting in the province of North Kivu has caused hundreds of thousands to flee their homes, including those who ended up at the camp for displaced people at Mubimbi. As long as these armed groups continue to operate near their home villages, they will not be able to return.

     The capture of Goma during the fighting between the M23 forces and the Congolese National Army (FARDC) in November 2012 caused another wave of more than 150,000 displaced people.  Locals were forced into the outlying areas of Goma, and many of them were not able to take any food with them when they fled.  More than 47,000 internally displaced people (IDP) arrived in Minova and the neighboring village of Bweremana.  This situation also affected the IDP camp at Mubimbi where several new families took shelter.

   The IDPs come from a range of ethnic groups and geographic locations in the east of the DR Congo.

    Distribution of tarps to 307 families living in Mubimbi was organized by local NGO, the Church of Christ in Congo Ministry for Refugees and Emergencies (ECC-MERU).

    In addition to the problem of finding food, it is a constant struggle to stay sheltered from the elements, especially during the rainy season. IDPs use banana leaves to create their shelters, but without good tarps, the roofs leak.  Military personnel who were fleeing the M23 advance also pillaged some of the IDP families’ belongings, which made them even more vulnerable. The poor state of the shelters, the cold weather, and the storms expose the people to different illnesses, such as respiratory infections, flu, and bronchitis.  Babies and children under five years of age are especially at risk. 

     The IDPs in these camps say they do not receive enough aid, and that the promises made by some aid organizations have not been fulfilled.

     They hope to be able to return to their homes as soon as possible where they won’t need to be dependent on outside assistance.

Access, information and text in collaboration with Michael J. Sharp, advisor for ECC-MERU, Eastern Congo Coordinator for Mennonite Central Committee. Thank you!

There were 19 women raped by soldiers in a recent accident. Some rejected by their husbands, they now live in Mubimbi IDP camp with their children.

Beneficiaries express their appreciation for the items they just received by dance and singing.

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