Kinshasa (Fides Service) – On 29 May 8 tonnes of medicine sent by Caritas Congo arrived in Bunia city. Flying with the medical supplies, purchased with funds from Caritas Germany and Trocaire Ireland, was the director of Bunia diocesan Caritas Rev. Etienne Ndeyikosi accompanied by Sister Marie Noelle, nutrition expert from Caritas Kisangani.
For several weeks Bunia, the main city of the Ituri region in north east Congo, has been the scene of fierce fighting between Lendu and Hema tribes The violence caused thousands to abandon the town. At present Caritas Bunia assists about 40,000 people at a collection point at Muhito about 12 km north of the city.
To relieve the critical situation of people remaining in Bunia the Church all over the country is joining in a great effort of solidarity. Caritas Goma has started collecting food and clothing to send to Bunia, while within days Caritas-Development in Kinshasa will send a mission to Ituri to sustain the work of local structures.
After a precarious cease-fire was reached on 27 May, some are beginning to return to the city, mostly those whose homes were not damaged or destroyed.
In a press statement Congo Caritas affirms “the present security conditions are such as to permit the return of humanitarian workers to Bunia, in the hope that the United Security Council will decide as soon as possible to send an international peace-keeping force to Ituri.” LM (Fides Service 30/5/2003 EM lines 24 Words: 277)