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Renewed violence forces displaced people to move yet again in the DRC

18 July 2017

It has been almost a year since intercommunal fighting erupted in Tanganyika Province, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), forcing hundreds of thousands of people from their homes.

©Stéphane Reynier de Montlaux/MSF

The precarious situation in which they were living remained largely unchanged for months, but has worsened in recent weeks. An increase in tensions between communities has resulted in fighting around Kalémie. In Moni settlement, makeshift houses were set alight.

©Stéphane Reynier de Montlaux/MSF

People have been forced to flee with what little they can carry.

©Stéphane Reynier de Montlaux/MSF

Around 21,000 people have sought safety in Kalémie town, and those who have no relatives or friends to help them are sheltering in overcrowded school buildings and compounds.

©Stéphane Reynier de Montlaux/MSF

People have no choice but to sleep outside under mosquito nets, the only shelter they were able to bring with them.

©Stéphane Reynier de Montlaux/MSF

Many of the children are suffering from malaria, respiratory infections and malnutrition.

©Stéphane Reynier de Montlaux/MSF

MSF has been working with the local authorities in Kalémie since April and in the hours and days after the fighting broke out our teams increased their support. They began trucking in drinking water and running mobile clinics to meet the needs of the newly displaced.

©Stéphane Reynier de Montlaux/MSF

 

Activities have included treating injuries and providing mental health support for those who have lived through this new cycle of violence. In the last week, MSF has undertaken 1,373 outpatient consultations.

©Stéphane Reynier de Montlaux/MSF

The displaced are worried and upset. They have nowhere else to go. As part of its response, MSF meets with those in charge of the settlements and the heads of the families so that they can explain their needs and express their concerns.

©Stéphane Reynier de Montlaux/MSF

“People stopped in the first safe places they found – schools empty for the holidays. The people living here have no idea what will happen to them if they have not found shelter by the time the term starts again”, says Stéphane Reynier de Montlaux, emergency coordinator in Tanganyika.

©Stéphane Reynier de Montlaux/MSF

 

 

The internally displaced people living around Kalémie have limited access to healthcare and safe drinking water. They face shortages of food, and proper shelter is one of their main concerns.  Longer-term solutions to address these issues need to be found.  

©Stéphane Reynier de Montlaux/MSF

 

It has been almost a year since intercommunual fighting erupted in Tanganyika Province, Democratic Republic of Congo, forcing hundreds of thousands of people from their homes. Many live in informal settlements, with limited access to healthcare and face shortages of food, water and shelter.

This precarious situation has worsened in July with renewed fighting around Kalémie. Some camps have been set alight, and people have been forced to flee again with what little they can carry. 

Around 21,000 people have sought safety in the city of Kalémie and are now sheltering in overcrowded school buildings and compounds. 

MSF has been supporting the local authorities of Kalémie since April. After fighting broke out, teams increased their support by providing water and running mobile clinics.