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Bloody DRC crisis takes turn for the worst

Story from: CAJ News Africa

drc refFrom JEAN KASSONGO in Kinshasa, DRC,
KINSHASA, (CAJ News) – THE raging conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo has spread to more provinces, displaced more than 1,3 million people and sucked in other armed groups.The conflict in the Kasai region began at the end of 2016 between a local traditional chief – Kamuina Nsapu – and state authorities has also forced some 50 000 civilians into neighbouring Angola.The skirmishes have spread from Kasai to the Kwilu and Lualaba bordering Kasai, where victims are arriving mutilated or with machete and bullet wounds.
Armed groups such as the National People’s Coalition for Congo Sovereignty have emerged to worsen the crisis.Many victims spend weeks fleeing into the dense forest without food, water,medicine or clothing.Hundreds have been killed in the conflict.
Some are dying on the way to seeking safety, mostly women and children.The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) stressed that the risks of sexual abuse and exploitation made the situation particularly worrying.Many children and women have fled by themselves while some unaccompanied minors do not have appropriate care.“Many newcomers show signs of deep trauma after living or witnessing atrocities, in a situation where no psychosocial support is available,”said UNHCR spokesman, William Spindler.
The majority of displaced people are staying at host communities, despite limited resources.Many also live in abandoned buildings, clinics, schools or mosques.“Many expressed their concerns about stopping the schooling of their children,” Spindler said.
– CAJ News

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