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Northwestern DRC: MSF Brings Medical Help to Those Hit By Severe Violence
Hundreds have fled to Sudan and Uganda, where MSF also provides assistance
January 30, 2009
Violent attacks in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have become increasingly frequent since late September 2008. Thought to have been carried out by Ugandan rebel group the Lord’s Resistance Army, the assaults have killed hundreds of people and left thousands displaced. Teams from the medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) are providing assistance in both the DRC and neighboring southern Sudan, and they are ready to respond in Uganda and Central African Republic if necessary.
MSF activities in DRC
According to the UN and human rights organizations, more than 500 people have been killed and more than 400 children abducted during recent attacks in and around the town of Dungu in northeastern DRC. In October 2008, MSF began working in Dungu with a team of five internationals and about 12 Congolese staff.
Responding to displaced people in southern Sudan
The attacks in DRC have caused hundreds of people to flee across the border into southern Sudan. In September 2008, following attacks on three villages in DRC, approximately 4,000 people sought refuge in the Sudanese towns of Sakure and Gangura. On September 20, Sakure was attacked. Two people were killed, 12 children were kidnapped, food reserves were looted, and several houses and vehicles were burned. An MSF team managed to reach the area rapidly and distributed plastic sheeting for shelter, soap, jerry cans, and supplementary food to the affected people. Medical teams provided support to primary healthcare clinics in Sakure and Gangura and launched mobile clinics along the border with DRC to try to reach more people. These mobile clinics have since stopped, but donations of materials to the primary healthcare clinics are ongoing.