Conflict & Justice

Humanitarian crisis in Congo

A U.N. plane roars over Goma, this town in Congo. Over the past six weeks, the UN peacekeeping mission here has been overwhelmed by the humanitarian disaster caused by fighting between the Congolese Army and the rebels. Rebel victories have humiliated the army but they've been even more disastrous for civilians and more than 250,000 people have been displaced near Goma. This 32 year old man ran away from the fighting and now sleeps in the courtyard of a school outside Goma. He says he's received no food aid. Like most here, he farms for a living, but he says all his fields have been destroyed. This aid worker from Doctors Without Borders say these people have been displaced again and again. Then spike in the fighting has halted most aid to the displaced and that's forcing people to search for sexual violence, but many women in search for food have experienced sexual violence and rape. 50 miles away in this village, the humanitarian situation is just as bad. This woman says she's been missing her six year old son for a week, as they both ran when the fighting started. Many of the displaced are surviving thanks to the compassion of some locals, but as the violence does get worse, even that source of food might disappear. Doctors Without Borders is one of the few aid organizations still crossing lines to deliver aid. But the choice for the displaced is stark: suffer in hunger in the relative safety of the camps or move back to the frontlines and risk injury or worse. This hospital sits in a territory between government and rebel forces. This man says his house was raided by the Congolese army militias and they hit him in the process. This hospital worker says the violence is just getting worse and they just received three cases of sexual violence yesterday.

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