MSF Seeks UN Intervention On Delivery Of Humanitarian Assistance To Northeast DR Congo

International NGO, MSF, is hoping that the arrival of UN delegation in DR Congo will help to soften relations with the Gov’t so they can get aid to more people in the country.

The Non-governmental Organisation (NGO), Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF) has called on the United Nations to permit it to bring assistance to communities in the conflict zones of Ituri in the Northeast of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The call comes as a United Nations delegation led by Jean-Pierre Lacroix, the Assistant Secretary General in charge of peacekeeping operations, arrived in Bunia, capital of Ituri province on Tuesday, Feb. 22. 

Lacroix “will meet persons affected by the violence that has been prevalent in this region,” indicated, the UN mission in the DR Congo (MONUSCO), which has deployed 12,000 Blue Helmets in the country.

“The arrival of this delegation gives us the occasion to question the UN, the lending community and humanitarian organisations on the deployment of assistance faced with the crisis in Ituri,” MSF said in a statement. 

“Humanitarian assistance should be within the respect of its principles of being neutral and impartial to reach all the communities affected by this terrible conflict,” the NGO noted, adding that “this neutral and impartial assistance is actually compromised by the violence and also by the lack of deployment in all the communities which are victims.”

David Occhipinti, the Coordinator of the MSF project in Drodro, said security constraints as well as unfavourable logistics stop humanitarian workers from reaching the most enclaved communities adding that humanitarian workers must be able to serve different communities so that there are no communities which feel abandoned.

“It is urgent that assistance is no longer a hostage of politics,” the MSF said in the statement. 

The MSF is one of the few humanitarian organisations present in Ituri, a DR Congo province which has seen increasing violence since 2017 after a decade of calm.

In June 2021, an armed gang assaulted the Boga hospital which the MSF was assisting and in October last year, another gang shot at an MSF vehicle which went to the Bambu health zone to help isolated populations. Two of five MSF staff onboard the vehicle were wounded.

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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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