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Presse release: Emergency Situation in Displaced Persons Camps and Sites in Goma

International Non-Governmental Organizations Forum in the Democratic Republic of Congo (FONGI-RDC)

Publication date: May 3, 2024

For immediate release


Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo –

This morning, several sites and camps for internally displaced persons in the west of the city of Goma were the scene of intense violence. Explosions were reported in several sites, accompanied by exchanges of fire. According to initial information from international NGOs present on site, witnesses to the events, this escalation of violence tragically cost the lives of numbers of people, including children, and injured more than 30 others, including children.

FONGI-DRC expresses its deep concern about this worsening security situation which endangers the lives of civilians and severely hampers access to necessary emergency services. Internally displaced people find themselves trapped in heavy artillery fighting, alarmingly increasing the risks to their safety, their lives and those of their families. This critical situation also impacts the ability of humanitarian workers to remain safe in camps to maintain essential humanitarian assistance to affected populations.

“We are trapped in the crossfire, with fewer and fewer safe places to conduct our operations. Each explosion brings the war closer to the supposedly protected spaces where the displaced desperately need our help and assistance,” reports the representative of an NGO member of the Forum, with staff present on site this morning.

"There is immense sadness and a sense of helplessness among us. We see terrified families and children, and our ability to help is limited by continued fighting. A displacement site or camp should not be a battlefield. We are doing everything we can, but the situation is beyond the capabilities of humanitarian actors," says a humanitarian worker.

The escalation of tensions between the armed forces and the desperate situation of tens of thousands of displaced people in Goma, who have no other refuge than sites and camps threatened with becoming combat zones, is alarming. This critical situation is severely hampering our ability to deliver the essential assistance needed.

FONGI-DRC calls on all parties to respect their obligations under International Humanitarian Law and to guarantee the protection of civilians and the security of humanitarian actors. We also call for international mobilization to ensure safe and unhindered passage for humanitarian relief.

We remain resolutely engaged with affected communities and continue to work tirelessly to meet their urgent needs, despite growing security challenges.

For more information, please contact:

Luc LAMPRIERE

Director of the INGO Forum in the DRC (FONGI-RDC)

FONGI-DRC

Telephone: +243 972 601 848

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