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2013-10-11

AFRICA/DR CONGO - Violence against civilians in the territory of Masisi

Masisi (Agenzia Fides) - On Friday, September 27 armed groups clashed in the area of Osso - Banyungu, near Masisi, province of North Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). There were also attacks against civilians in the villages of Butemure, Lwibo, Bikudje, Majengo and Katiri. In order to provide emergency assistance to the victims of these acts of violence, the international organization Doctors Without Borders (DWB) organized mobile clinics. It is difficult to confirm the number of deaths, wounded and missing people, including women and children, because many villagers fled into the bush for fear of further attacks. According DWB operators 46 children and 3 teachers were kidnapped after their school was burned. During the armed incursion a bridge used by the inhabitants to flee was destroyed. Armed with machetes, the rebels destroyed the last ropes that held the bridge and slaughtered some men before throwing them into the water. The day after the attack, in the village of Lwibo, DWB operators treated more than 80 patients and assisted 9 victims of sexual violence. A team visited the village of Bikudje where two people were injured and about 30 remain missing. Several villages are accessible only on foot, and relief is likely to arrive too late. In the territory of Masisi recurring violence takes place and insecurity is continuous to the point that people are forced to flee. In August, according to estimates, there were more than one million internally displaced persons in North Kivu. Between January and August 2013, the organization DWB treated more than 8,800 patients, carried out 1,717 operations and more than 86,000 visits. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 11/10/2013)

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