Located in Rhoe, 45km northeast of the provincial capital Bunia and only accessible to aid agencies by helicopter, 75,000 displaced people -- including 35,000 children - living in a remote and inaccessible hilltop camp for displaced people in the province of Ituri in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are braving "hellish conditions" without adequate food, shelter, protection, security and sanitation, UNICEF has said. It is estimated there are about 1,300 people for every toilet in Rhoe camp and sewage flows openly through densely inhabited areas.
50,000 people are estimated to have arrived in the past two weeks - has followed several attacks on nearby camps at Drodro and Tche by armed groups, forcing thousands of already-displaced people to seek sanctuary there.
Over the last few weeks, 35 children, including 14 girls, were reported to have been killed or injured, some hacked to death by men wielding machetes. At least 13 girls were recently raped while attempting to find food in fields adjoining the camp. Terror groups have also destroyed three hospitals and two schools in the area. It is impossible to verify exact figures on the number of violations committed against children, including kidnappings because of persistent insecurity and lack of access to the Rhoe area.
The hilltop camp is located immediately next to a MONUSCO peacekeeping base.
"Displaced people fled to Rhoe in the hope of finding some kind of safety and protection," said UNICEF Bunia Chief Field Officer Ibrahim Cisse, "But in reality, they remain in danger."