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UNHCR and UNICEF condemn the bombardment of displacement camps in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo

Press releases

UNHCR and UNICEF condemn the bombardment of displacement camps in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo

3 May 2024
Families walk and ride, carrying their belongings, fleeing fighting in North Kivu.

Families fleeing fighting in other parts of North Kivu in February arrive at the Mugunga displacement site in Goma, one of three sites bombed on 3 May.

KINSHASA – The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) strongly condemn the bombing today of three sites for internally displaced people (IDPs) in the Lac Vert, Lushagala, and Mugunga neighbourhoods of Goma, North Kivu, in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Explosions occurred this morning at sites designated for civilians, killing at least 12 people and injuring another 30 or more people, mainly women and children. Shelters and other humanitarian structures were also damaged.

“We condemn in the strongest terms this shocking, merciless, and horrendous act of violence that claimed the lives of children, displaced people and host communities in the cruellest way,” said Angele Dikongue-Atangana, UNHCR’s Representative to the DRC. “The civilian population of North Kivu province has witnessed the worst humanitarian violations for over two years in this bloody attrition. UNHCR calls for all actors to halt this senseless violence and to respect the sanctity of protected humanitarian sites. We also echo the calls by displaced families themselves for peace, which is urgently needed in eastern DRC.”

The attacks also halted the work of humanitarian relief personnel at these sites, who were providing assistance to already displaced people when the bombs fell. There are an estimated 210,000 people across the health zones where the bombs detonated.

“This needless tragedy is the result of fighting moving too close to areas densely populated by children and their families,” said Grant Leaity, UNICEF Representative to the DRC. “We call on all parties to abide by their obligations under International Humanitarian Law to protect civilians, including by taking all feasible precautions and by respecting the principles of distinction and proportionality. We urge the parties to negotiate a solution to end this conflict.”

UNHCR and UNICEF stand in solidarity with the affected communities and reaffirm their commitment to peace and security.

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