With over 5 million internally displaced people, the country has the highest number of internally displaced people on the African continent
NEW YORK, United States of America, October 5, 2021 / APO Group / –
Violence and access constraints in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) continue to hamper humanitarian operations amid a context where one in three people need assistance, the Security Council told the Security Council on Tuesday. senior UN official in the country.
For Bintou Keita, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO), food insecurity and cyclical epidemics are major concerns.
Attacks on schools and hospitals have also exacerbated humanitarian challenges in several parts of the east, particularly Ituri.
With over 5 million internally displaced people, the country has the largest number of internally displaced people on the African continent. More than 26 million Congolese also suffer from food insecurity, or about 29 percent of the population.
Addressing Council members, Ms. Keita urged them to increase their contributions to the 2021 humanitarian response plan, which calls for $ 1.98 billion. To date, just over a quarter of the plan is funded.
The Special Representative highlighted two main challenges: the security and protection of civilians in the east, and the process of democratic consolidation in the DRC.
On the security front, she informed that, since the declaration of a state of siege by the Government in the provinces of North Kivu and Ituri, MONUSCO has redoubled its efforts to support the Congolese authorities.
Ms. Keita warned, however, that “much remains to be done, in particular to ensure that the human rights of the population are systematically respected in the fight against armed groups”.
For her, the promulgation on July 5 of the ordinance on the disarmament, demobilization, community recovery and stabilization program represents “a great opportunity”.
She said joint military operations against the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) had dismantled several of the rebel group’s strongholds, but human rights violations perpetrated by state and non-state actors “remain of concern.”
According to her, between June and August, 367 people were victims of arbitrary and extrajudicial executions. About 203 people, mostly women and children, suffered sexual violence.
She also informed that in some regions, especially in South Kivu, inter-community conflicts are fueled by hate speech.
“These populist and bellicose speeches are a danger to the stability of the country and should be the subject of exemplary judicial sanctions”, she argued.
On democratic consolidation, she said the formation of a new government in April “provided an opportunity to push forward critical reforms.”
For now, the focus is on the 2023 elections. Underlining a “context of political suspicion”, Ms. Keita reiterated the need for an “inclusive and peaceful electoral process based on dialogue, trust and transparency. “.
She underscored the renewal of MONUSCO’s mandate, saying that a joint transition plan has been developed and constitutes “a roadmap that can help guide the work of the Mission in the years to come and pave the way for its mission. orderly and responsible withdrawal “.
She concluded by asking the Council to continue to give its full support to MONUSCO, by approving the joint transition plan, by providing financial resources and by playing an active role in its realization.
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