At the weekly MONUC press conference this Wednesday December 13 2006, MONUC stated that the humanitarian situation in North Kivu remains 'precarious', as there are over 500,000 people internally displaced people (IDP’s), representing half of the total number of IDP’s in the DRC.
On December 7 last, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the World Food Programme(WFP), together with local authorities and aid organisations estimated that the total number of IDP’s in North Kivu was 551,667 people.
The humanitarian situation close to Sake was marked by new displacements following last week’s fighting between the FARDC and General Laurent Nkunda’s dissident 81st and 83rd brigades.
“Up to 20,000 on the Sake –Goma and Sake –Minova routes have been displaced, but have regained their homes following a stabilization of the security situation,” said MONUC spokesperson Kemal Saiki.
He went on to explain that there was widespread looting in the intervening period.
“Opportunistic elements of the FARDC took the opportunity to loot and take over the abandoned homes. This situation remains precarious close to Sake, where cholera has spread due to lack of drinking water, and where certain residents have still not retaken their homes.”
He added that Sake, which was at the centre of the violence, has still not received any assistance from humanitarian organisations, because of a fear of exactions by undisciplined elements of the FARDC.
Many humanitarian evaluations have been conducted over the last couple of days by humanitarian organisations, in collaboration with MONUC, and intervention plans are in place in the more stable areas, in case there is a new deterioration in the situation in the North Kivu region.
Meanwhile, the Disarmament, Demobilisation, and Reintegration programme continues in the DRC, notably in Ituri, North Kivu and Katanga.
MONUC noted that the disarmament of the Ituri FRPI militia group commenced in Aveba on December 11, as scheduled, with nine children awaiting reunification with their families.
“In North Kivu, despite initial resistance, the children associated with the Mayi Mayi of Colonel Ndelema have been demobilized, as well as 111 children, of which 24 are girls,associated to the Baleine Mayi-Mayi groups ” explained MONUC spokesperson Kemal Saiki.
In the southern province of Katanga, 84 children, of whom 30 are girls, have also been demobilized in Nyunzu from Mayi Mayi elements in the region.