By Spy Uganda Correspondent
More than 2,750 civilians have been killed in the east of Democratic Republic of Congo since the start of the year, international aid agencies warned on Thursday, calling for urgent humanitarian action.
“In many areas, the presence of active non-state armed groups is aggravating the ongoing cycle of violence, triggering massive population displacements and exacerbating an already fragile humanitarian situation,” the Forum of International NGOs in the Democratic Republic of Congo said.
The forum is made up of at least 124 international non-governmental organisations operating in the DRC, the statement said.
On Monday, the UN´s humanitarian coordination office OCHA warned of “rampant violence and rising humanitarian needs” in eastern DRC.
The United Nations said the crisis was “at its most serious”.
In its statement, the forum of international NGOs also noted a rapid and alarming deterioration in the humanitarian situation in the east of the country.
The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) warned of “rampant violence” and “increased humanitarian needs” in eastern DRC, and the United Nations listed the seriousness of the crisis as one of the “highest level.”
Two days later, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) called for a “rapid and tangible increase” in humanitarian aid to eastern DRC “in the face of a crisis of historic proportions in North Kivu”, one of the areas hardest hit by nearly 30 years of violence.
In its statement, the International NGO Forum noted a “rapid and alarming deterioration” of the humanitarian situation in the east of the country.
The organizations expressed “concern about the shrinking space for humanitarian action”, noting that this is linked to the “return of bloody violence” caused by “conflicts and the militarization of the region”.
In addition to increasing humanitarian assistance, the organizations called on the international community to “strengthen its political and diplomatic commitment with a view to finding a solution and ending this ongoing cycle of violence in the DRC”.