UN mission raises concerns regarding situation in DRC refugee camp

November 9, 2015 OPINION/NEWS

By

Darell Maurice

A meeting of the Fizi Territorial Security Committee in South Kivu was held last week, attended by the Congolese military FARDC and United Nations stabilisation mission in the DRC, MONUSCO, among others.

On the agenda, the assessment of the general security situation in the Fizi Territory, a situation considered a “special concern” in respect of certain information received over several weeks in which reports of suspicious movements of unidentified armed individuals, whose objective was to attack the camp of Burundian refugees from Lusenda.

This was of such concern, to the point where the Commander of the Operational Sector of South Kivu, Sokola II General Safariof the FARDC, Head of MONUSCO’s Sub- Office in Uvira and Commander of the Pakistani peacekeepers for the Territories of Uvira and Fizi, Lieutenant Colonel Shahid Samad, deemed it necessary to move from Uvira to Fizi. To these rumours are added the presence of suspected FNL combatants, the activism of some local armed groups (Mai Mai, Bwasakala, Yakutumba), or the presence within the camp at Lusenda of certain refugee groups opposed to each other. The meeting also focused on the lack of cooperation of local people reluctant to denounce these suspects.

In the end, all parties agreed on one point: not to lower one’s guard and to be vigilant on all fronts. Local authorities have been instructed to raise awareness on the need to collaborate with defense and security forces, denouncing any suspicious movements.

For MONUSCO, the people “are the eyes, ears and mouths of the authorities.” Ould Mohamed El Hacen, Head of the UN missions office in Uvira also reminded authorities of their duty to maintain security in and around the refugee camp at Lusenda. MONUSCO, as part of its mandate, provides all necessary support to the security not only of the refugee camp, but the population in general. Thus, among other efforts by the United Nations Mission in the DRC, also included is the establishment of a Local Committee for the protection of Lusenda, staffing of the National Commission for Refugees (CNR), the installation of a temporary military base for Pakistani peacekeepers at Lusenda, nocturnal and diurnal patrols, numerous aspects relating to sensitisation of the populations on non-violence and peaceful coexistence and the establishment at Uvira to an Early Warning Unit that analyzes results in the field of investigation missions.

 

 

 

 

 

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Darell Maurice

Darell Maurice is a Journalist based in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s capital city Kinshasa and works for Canal7kintv. He also blogs here.

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