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Intense conflict in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo leads to widespread displacement.
Africa World News

Intense conflict in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo leads to widespread displacement.

According to UNHCR, approximately 135,000 individuals from the town of Sake, located on the northern shores of Lake Kivu, have been forced to flee due to recent conflict in the region. These displaced individuals are currently making their way towards the provincial capital of Goma, which is approximately 25 kilometers away.

The organization also stated that they have received information about explosives being dropped in residential areas of Sake and Goma. These areas are currently home to around 65,000 internally displaced people (IDPs) and this has raised major concerns for their well-being.

According to UNHCR, the increasing deployment of powerful weapons and bombing in conflicts near Goma is a serious danger for civilians and those who have been displaced, putting them at risk for further harm and damaging structures that serve as communal havens.

The existence of unexploded weapons is especially dangerous for children, according to a statement. It was mentioned that in the first week of February alone, there were 15 civilian deaths and 29 injuries in the areas of Goma and Sake.


The situation is both tragic and unacceptable.

According to Chansa Kapaya, the Regional Director for Southern Africa at UNHCR, there have been ongoing confrontations that have targeted all individuals, regardless of gender or age.

She stated that the current situation is both heartbreaking and not acceptable. She strongly urges all involved parties to prioritize the safety of civilians, abide by humanitarian laws, and create safe passageways for aid.

The unselective air attacks are worsening the burden on already stretched resources to support 800,000 internally displaced persons in the area, as well as 2.5 million who have been forced to leave their homes in North Kivu Province.

Access challenges

According to UNHCR, ongoing violence in Masisi territory and Rutshuru is making it difficult for humanitarian organizations to reach isolated communities and provide necessary aid.

According to the statement, there are limited safe ways to leave Goma, causing the displaced residents in the area to experience worsening conditions.

The UNHCR stressed the importance of protecting the safety and welfare of civilians and individuals forced to leave their homes.

It also demanded an immediate cessation of hostilities and urged urgent discussions to address the conflict and ease the plight of innocent civilians caught in the midst of the fighting.

Floods, cholera outbreak

The violence and displacement occurred while the DRC was already struggling with a severe cholera outbreak and significant flooding in January, causing widespread damage.

As of last week, approximately 100,000 houses, 1,325 schools, 267 health facilities, and a significant amount of agricultural land have been harmed or demolished, resulting in an estimated two million individuals, with almost 60% being children, requiring aid.