Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in eastern DR Congo have called on the United Nations to impose sanctions against combatants of the Cooperative for the Development of Congo (CODECO) and all other authors of crimes against them in the region.
The demand was made through Jean Pierre Lacroix, the United Nations Under-Secretary for Peacekeeping Operations, who on Tuesday, Feb. 22, ended a one-day visit to Ituri province of the DR Congo, where he visited displaced families in Rhoe situated in Djugu territory.
“There is at the same time, a demand for support, assistance and security, but also that crimes which have been committed against the population should not remain unpunished. These are messages which were transmitted by the persons whom we met and who represent the displaced,” Lacroix said.
The displaced persons are still facing security challenges while humanitarian aid has remained insufficient.
“The world must not first of all forget the displaced persons, these persons who suffer. Humanitarian aid is not sufficient, our humanitarian colleagues are very devoted and they have been doing their utmost but there is a lack of resources,” he said.
“The effort on security must be continued and MONUSCO (the United Nations Organisation Stabilisation Mission in the DR Congo) is doing just that along with the authorities as well as the Congolese soldiers and the police.”
“We have already said there should not be impunity and that finally, sustainable solutions must really be found so that these persons can return to their homes.”
The Rhoe refugee site houses 75,000 displaced persons and is almost the only site benefiting from minimum security because it is situated near a Blue Helmets base but the displaced persons are always under threat by CODECO militia.
Most of the displaced persons fled from different attacks in Drodro where a principal health facility had even been vandalised by the rebels.
Another site for displaced persons is in Bule and it was attacked leaving 62 persons dead.
The security situation in Djugu territory, is very disquieting and the civil society in Ituri last Monday, Feb. 21, addressed a letter to President Felix Tshisekedi drawing his attention to what the region is going through.
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