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Tuesday, February 28, 2017
DR Congo: sea of people flees militia
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 Catholics in DR Congo continue to report on the alarming situation in the southern region of Katanga where the presence of armed militia is causing a serious humanitarian emergency, Fides News reports. On 21 November the bodies of Catholic priest Fr François Djikulo and layman Simon Kayimbi were found horribly mutilated. This and other crimes are the work of Mai-Mai leader Gédéon. Bishop Fulgence Mateba of Kilwa-Kasenga said: "about 60,000 thousand people of all ages displaced by war have arrived in Dubie. They are running to escape horrible violence against civilians which Mai-Mai Gédéon and his men have been committing for some time in Katanga". Before this outbreak of violence Dubie already had 16,000 displaced persons living in precarious conditions. "The advance of the regular army in the north of Dubie, in territory controlled by Gédéon's men is a liberation for countless civilians who have been hostages of the militia for several months" the Bishop said. Most of the displaced persons who arrive in Dubie, Kabangu, Lukona and Kaswete, suffer from malnutrition and psychological trauma. Many wear only rags and out of shame only to go to reception camps at night. In Dubie many of these people are camped in the open in front of parishes churches, others have been given shelter in schools, before going to makeshift camps. "They have no one to help them this is a humanitarian crisis" said Bishop Mateba. "The sea of people is moving in on Dubie and the surrounding area and making a bad situation even worse. These people need food, shelter, seeds, medical care and also psychological assistance" the Bishop said. In October Kilwa-Kasenga started a collection of money and material aid to help these people in Dubie and Mitwaba. "We know this will not be enough to meet the needs of so many people but it is a sign that the Catholic community cares about others and is ready to be a reference point for long waited international solidarity " the Bishop said. Source: Fides
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