More United Nations officials are expressing grave concern over the worsening humanitarian crisis in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The U.N. Refugee Agency and UNICEF said they’re “greatly alarmed” by the escalating violence between armed groups and government forces in eastern Congo that’s led to the displacement of millions of people. The ongoing conflict has also hindered the access of humanitarian aid. The agencies also warn of severe human rights violations, including against children, with reports of rapes, kidnappings and arbitrary killings of civilians. Many shelter sites are overcrowded with limited access to food and clean water.
Jean Baptiste Munyanzinza: “We don’t want this life of begging. At home, we had fields, cattle, and we lived very well. … The most important thing is to stop the war so that we can return home.”
This comes as the DRC is gearing up for a presidential election in December. Security in the eastern region has been a central issue for candidates who hope to unseat Congolese President Félix Tshisekedi.