Congo, MSF calls humanitarian entities to halt violence in Salamabila

Children playing in Salamabila Children playing in Salamabila MSF/Carl Theunis

19 November 2020

In Salamabila, in Congo’s eastern Maniema province, violence intensifies seamlessly, says Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)

Following another violent incident in Salamabila, located in the Democratic Republic of Congo's eastern Maniema province, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) urged all the humanitarian entities active in the country to step up in their efforts to strengthen protection services for people in the area. As MSF reports, on 11 November gunfire was heard in Salamabila. Shortly afterwards two people with bullet wounds asked for treatment in MSF health facilities. Another sought aid the following morning.

Behind the increasing room for violence in Salamabila is the fight amid armed groups over access to Mount Namoya natural gold resources. As MSF explains, innocents find themselves trapped in combat areas and violence, kidnappings, looting and the destruction of property become the commonplace. MSF head of the mission in Congo Carlos Francisco points out that violence is having a serious impact on the physical and mental health of the people living in Salamabila.

With rampant generalized violence contributing to instability around Salamabila, the recrudescence of sexual violence is a further warning bell. MFS Congo documents that since the beginning of this year, 1000 survivors were provided physical and psychological care in their health facilities. Reportedly, 85% of the perpetrators were armed men. Sexual violence, on the rise ever since fighting over access to gold deposits and land broke out, has gotten more widespread over time and more and more women are falling victim.

Besides the enduring provision of field support since 2018, MSF called on all armed groups and anyone else armed in the area to respect international humanitarian law, to do no harm and to protect civilians at all costs.


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Author: Gianmarco Italia; Editor: Barbara Caltabiano


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