World / Social Issues

Nearly 700,000 displaced by east Congo violence, MSF says

AFP-JIJI

Nearly 700,000 people have been displaced by violence in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said on Wednesday, pointing to “worrying” cases of malnutrition and sexual violence.

In a press release, it said more than 687,500 displaced people were now living in camps or with host families.

Between January and September, MSF treated at least 11,220 children suffering from malnutrition, 2,310 victims of sexual violence and 1,980 wounded, it said.

The agency highlighted the territories of Masisi, Rutshuru and Walikale in the southern part of North Kivu province.

“We have treated twice as many victims of sexual violence as last year,” Ewald Stals, MSF’s health coordinator in Masisi, said.

North Kivu province, which borders Rwanda and Uganda, is one of the most dangerous zones in Africa’s Great Lakes region.

Militia groups have controlled much of the province since the Congo Wars of the 1990s, killing civilians and fighting over resources.