DR Congo, more than 120 wounded people

An unpaved road in rural Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo An unpaved road in rural Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo Photo by Guenterguni on iStock

20 April 2021

Over 120 wounded people in recent violent demonstrations around the North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. 

In April protests spread in several cities of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) against the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO). Since the beginning of April, protests and violent clashes erupted in numerous cities including Beni, Goma and Butembo because of the inaction of the MONUSCO mission following the relentless violence and killings perpetrated by a local armed group, the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a terrorist organization that originated in the 1990s in western Uganda and which is affiliated with the Islamic State.

MONUSCO took over from an earlier peacekeeping mission in 2010 and deployed its 12,000 troops in the eastern part of the DRC, which is the country’s mineral-rich region and which is home to more than 100 rebel groups including the ADF. After killings doubled in this region, people took to the streets to demand the withdrawal of UN peacekeepers who have been accused of not protecting them against deadly rebel attacks. According to the Kivu Security Tracker, the ADF has killed more than 1,200 civilians in the Beni area alone since 2017. Besides, according to a study conducted by the Catholic Church, more than 6,000 civilians have been killed in Beni since 2013. Also, the UN said that since the start of the year, more than 200 people have been killed in ADF attacks and other 40,000 were forced to flee their homes.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), which has been helping victims of armed conflict in North Kivu since 1993, stressed how hospitals in DR Congo's North Kivu province have been overwhelmed by people wounded by weapons after violent protests. Currently, 51 wounded people were hospitalized at the Beni General Referral Hospital, and the 36 most seriously injured people received treatment at the Bethesda Hospital in Goma where the ICRC has set up a war surgery programme. Indeed, the ICRC mobilized to provide medical supplies and medicines to help hospitals cope with the influx. Therefore, since the group’s attacks constitute crimes against humanities and war crimes, the ICRC called for action to protect civilians and medical facilities to ensure that all wounded and sick people receive proper treatment. 


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Author: Eleonora Gonnelli; Editor: Benedetta Spizzichino


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