Thursday, February 15, 2018

Congo is getting worse

 A humanitarian disaster in eastern Congo is quickly worsening as aid agencies have been forced to pull back due to growing insecurity and slashed budgets, the head of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) said. Persistent clashes between government soldiers, local militias and foreign rebels in the eastern borderlands have worsened. The area around Beni has witnessed some of the worst violence in recent years.

More than 4.4 million people have been displaced in Democratic Republic of Congo amid rampant violence that has been aggravated by a political crisis sparked by President Joseph Kabila's refusal to step down at the end of his mandate in 2016.

"We are overwhelmed and underfunded," NRC head Jan Egeland told Reuters in an interview in the town of Beni in North Kivu province. "The crisis in Congo, especially here in the eastern part of Congo, is phenomenal. It is horrible. And we do not have the global solidarity and response that we need," he said. "Just outside of town, just here in Beni, there were several massacres in recent days," said Egeland, "These clashes go on endlessly. The civilian population comes in the crossfire."

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