In the northeast of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and in the south of neighboring Sudan, Ugandan rebels from the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) have been perpetrating acts of extreme violence on civilians in response to operations conducted against them by national armies of the DRC, Uganda, and southern Sudan.
Since October 2008, following the latest fighting between armed groups in North Kivu province, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) teams have been assisting refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) at the Uganda border. At the Ishasha border crossing, the number of new arrivals has decreased significantly as the fighting in DRC eased.
Civilians are fleeing to Uganda to escape the conflict in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Refugees in Matanda camp, which serves as a transitory camp, just over the border in Ishasha, say they are afraid to go back, fearing violence, massacres, and forced conscription into the military or armed groups. The little news they receive from relatives who remain there reinforces their belief that it is not safe to return.
For the past several weeks Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) teams have been assessing the refugee situation at the border of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Uganda. According to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, more than 27,000 people have crossed the border with Uganda since the end of August. Monique Doux, Field Coordinator in Matanda Refugee camp, close to the border town of Ishasha, talks about the situation there.
For the past several weeks, MSF teams have been assessing the refugee situation at the border of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Uganda. An 11-person team (three doctors, four nurses and three logisticians) are now working in three different sites to offer assistance to the refugees.