UN agencies’ efforts to assist the displaced in Goma hampered by intense fighting

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Residents of Rutshuru Territory flee their homes to seek safety UN Photo/Sylvain Liechti

There's mounting concern in the UN humanitarian community for the safety of thousands of Congolese displaced by the escalating hostilities in Goma, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says there is concern that humanitarian operations are increasingly difficult to carry out, as tens of thousands have been forced into new displacement.

And UNHCR, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, says fighting in north Kivu has been particularly intense between government forces and the rebel M23 movement.

Adrian Edwards is the UNHCR Spokesman.

“Currently, we are especially concerned by the situation around Goma, where there has been significant new displacement over the last few days. The M23 rebel advance has prompted many people to flee towards Goma and Rwanda, and a major IDP camp at Kanyaruchinya has been virtually emptied. Previously it hosted 60,000 people. Around Goma, women and children are reported to be converging at Mugunga 3 and other spontaneous settlements. Many humanitarian activities have been suspended because of the security situation.”

The UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) says there is a serious risk of a spike in Cholera due to these population movements.

Donn Bobb, United Nations

Duration: 1’19″

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