Humanitarian CrisesNews

DR Congo – Red Cross Unable To Assist Victims of Kwamouth Crisis Due To The Violence

“Several members of the Red Cross were also targeted by the assailants and are themselves displaced because of the intensity of the violence.

Several victims of the inter-communal violence between the Teke and Yaka communities, especially the wounded, have not been receiving assistance from the Kwamouth antenna of the Mai-Ndombe Red Cross because of the intensity of the violence still going on in the area. To date, the number of those wounded is not known because the Red Cross cannot enter the crisis zones to ascertain the number of victims.

“Several members of the Red Cross were also targeted by the assailants and are themselves displaced because of the intensity of the violence. Besides, the local Red Cross does not have the means to fulfill its mission in such circumstances”, Raoul Viara, who is responsible for the management of catastrophes within the Kwamouth Red Cross, who is himself displaced to Bandundu, revealed.

“At the Red Cross, we do not have the means to reach the sites where victims are reported. We do not even have a locomotive engine in the river or on the road. The administrator of the territory has no means of movement. He does not also have any such means to send to bring us to the victims. We do not know how we can intervene in order to bury the dead”, he added.

“The atrocities were very intense. They even started to search for people from Kwilu and strangers who have links to the Yaka. We who are from Kwilu judged it necessary to move with our families to the town of Bandundu where I was born. We do not know what is happening there right now. The Red Cross says there must first be a ceasefire before they intervene but since there is no ceasefire, we do not know what will happen there. If you go there, you are going to die. People can only go to collect the corpses if there is a ceasefire. The Red Cross tells us to first protect ourselves before securing others”, he further explains.

According to him, the Kwamouth Red Cross has 50 agents and besides him, some agents have decided to remain in Kwamouth while others have fled to neighbouring areas.

Diverse sources in the region report that more than 150 persons have been killed since the conflict between the Tekes and the Yakas began in July this year.

This conflict has the trappings of the violence that tore apart members of the Ntende and Nunu ethnic groups in 2018 in the Yumbi territory still in Mai-Ndombe province. More than five hundred persons were killed during the said conflict, according to United Nations estimates.

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Chief Bisong Etahoben

Chief Bisong Etahoben is a Cameroonian investigative journalist and traditional ruler. He writes for international media and has participated in several transnational investigations. Etahoben won the first-ever Cameroon Investigative Journalist Award in 1992. He serves as a member of a number of international investigative journalism professional bodies including the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR). He is HumAngle's Francophone and Central Africa editor.

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