Thursday, May 11, 2017

Situation worsens in DRC

The Kasai crisis has led to the largest population of internally displaced people in the whole of Africa as aid workers struggle to respond amid increasing violence and political instability.

An increase in violence between security forces and the Kamwina Nsapu militia in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has led to the internal displacement of a record 3.7 million people. Clashes initially began in August 2016 in the Kasai-Central province but have since spread to four other provinces. The conflict was initially sparked after the militia attacked local police and called for an insurrection of the central government. The Kasai crisis continues to unfold in the wake of a wave of violence across the DRC following President Joseph Kabila's failure to step down the end of his constitutional mandate in December 2016.
Over the past month thousands of people in affected regions have begun fleeing to neighboring Angola, stretching resources in villages along the border.
The United Nations launched an emergency response appeal in order to provide life-saving assistance to 731,000 people over the next six months. Prior to the current Kasai crisis, the DRC already faced acute humanitarian problems, with more than 4 million people suffering from hunger and 3.5 million children under five facing malnutrition.
However, aid workers are finding it increasingly difficult to address the deteriorating situation in DRC.Many face the risk of attacks and are unable to access areas in most need of humanitarian assistance. Since the beginning of 2017, almost 3,000 incidents involving violence or direct threats against aid and development workers have been reported. On 28 March the bodies of two UN security experts alongside their interpreter were found in the Kasai Central province.

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