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Congo crisis: access limited outside Goma

Concern Worldwide still does not have safe access to its operations in Masisi, North Kivu, in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

“Humanitarian access is nearly impossible outside Goma”, according to Fergus Thomas, Area Coordinator for Concern. The city of Goma is situated in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

There are now nearly one million displaced people in North Kivu, which is approximately one in four of the population in the province.

Skirmishes and fighting

Concern staff in North Kivu report that large numbers of people are on the move, with fighting having shifted in the last few days to Kiwanja, about 80km from Goma, as people flee skirmishes between the rebel CNDP forces and pro-government Pareco Mai-Mai militia. Concern staff are also worried about reports of children being forcibly recruited by various militia.

Finding refuge

With thousands of displaced people being instructed not to regroup in camps, many of which are being burned to the ground, new trends are developing as displaced people in North Kivu try to find refuge in churches and schools or with host families.

Possible peace?

Concern Worldwide welcomes reports that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is travelling to Kenya for an African Union summit on the crisis, and the agency hopes that diplomatic talks will lead to sustainable peace deal.