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Latest on the deteriorating situation in Eastern DR Congo

Latest developments (as of 2 December 08)
• 5 children recruited in Kitchanga yesterday (unconfirmed); recruitment of dozens/hundreds of children by several armed groups continues; UNICEF calls on all armed groups to immediately stop recruiting children and release all children in their ranks.  The recruitment of children is a war crime and commanders will be held accountable against international standards

• More than 25,000 people have fled fighting in several villages south of Masisi town over the weekend (Kanyero, Kinigi, etc.); thousands have arrived in Masisi  town and north to Nyabiondo and Loashi; acute risk of measles and diarrhea spreading and malnutrition rising; two weeks ago 183 cases of measles, 10% of children malnourished (after a screening); and 31% of children with diarrhea in Masisi town (after a screening); in spite of insecurity, measles vaccinations finished yesterday for 4,300 children; UNICEF calls for an immediate stop of fighting as children’s lives continue to be put at risk and basic rights violated. 

• Distribution of hygiene kits (soap, jerry cans, etc.) by partner IRC to 45,000 displaced persons in Rubare/Kalengera to try and contain the spread of cholera started today; distrbutions to 95,000 displaced persons in Rutshuru/Kiwandja finished yesterday; UNICEF calls for stability so the population can remain in one area to use their kits thereby preventing the spread of cholera

• 85% of schools in Rutshuru territory still remain closed to around 150,000 students after the CNDP again declared that they would open yesterday; parents are afraid to send their children to school due to killings, disappearances, and forced recruitment in the area; UNICEF calls on all armed groups to create a safer environment so schools can reopen and children can peacefully resume their studies and be protected.

• Hundreds of emergency latrines and several village hygiene committees created in Tongo, Rubare, Kalengera, Bambu, etc. to try and curb the spread of cholera

Key UNICEF concerns
Child survival
- risks of cholera and measles outbreaks and increasing child malnutriton
Protection - children separated from their families during displacement; more vulnerable to abuse, exploitation, and violence; recruitment of chlidren into armed groups
Education - 85% of schools (150,000 students) remain closed in Rutshuru territory
Humanitarian Access - insecurity impedes aid.

Background
• An estimated 100,000 people have fled in the first week from North Kivu’s Rutshuru territory, of which about half are children. 
• Over the last six weeks alone, more than 250,000 people have been forced to flee fighting, bringing the total number of displaced people in the province to over 1 million 20% of the overall population).
• Fighting resumed in North Kivu province on Saturday evening, October 25, between Government forces (FARDC) and the militia known as the National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP), led by former general Laurent Nkunda.
• Cross-border movement of population: as of Nov. 13th, approximately 10 000 Congolese have entered Uganda since the beginning of August 2008 (UNHCR Uganda).

For more information, please contact:
Jaya Murthy
Communications Specialist
UNICEF DRC
(Eastern Zonal Office - Goma)
Tel: +243 81 830 5933
Email: jmurthy@unicef.org

 

 

 

 

Resources

 AUDIO:
• 14 Nov.: Increased threat listen
• 13 Nov: Access listen
• 10 Nov: Aid stalled listen
• 6 Nov: Aid distribution listen
• 30 Oct: Desperate need listen
 VIDEO
• 6 Nov: Delivering aid, amid insecurity high | low
• 3 Nov: Crisis response high | low
• 30 Oct. : Fleeing clashes high | low

Press releases
Latest on the situation and response
• 11 Nov.: Supplies airlifted to Goma
• 3 Nov.: 100,000 people displaced

Features
•  11 Dec.: Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow arrives in North Kivu
• 18 Nov.: On the ground 
• 14 Nov.: At risk
7 Nov.: Aid stalled
• 6 Nov.: Delivering aid, amid insecurity
3 Nov.: Aid distrbution
30 Oct.: Aid on hold

More on DR Congo
UNICEF in DR Congo
Map of Kivu


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