A wave of relentless attacks perpetrated by armed groups has resulted in the tragic deaths of over 500 civilians and forced the displacement of more than one million individuals within the territories of Djugu and Mahagi in Ituri province, situated in the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo), according to a statement by the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the DR Congo (MONUSCO).
Marc Karna Soro, the chief office manager of MONUSCO in Ituri, conveyed these distressing statistics during a press briefing held in the city of Bunia.
Soro, recently returning from a mission in the southern Irumu territory, provided an overview of the prevailing security situation in the province.
His remarks emphasized that within a span of two months, 530 lives were lost, while over a million displaced individuals have sought refuge near various MONUSCO bases.
Ituri province, along with its neighboring provinces of North Kivu and South Kivu, has long been plagued by relentless assaults carried out by armed groups.
These violent incidents have inflicted unimaginable suffering on innocent civilians, who not only face the loss of their lives but also endure the looting of their belongings and the abhorrent crime of sexual violence perpetrated against women and girls.
The situation remains highly volatile, with communities in eastern DR Congo continuing to bear the brunt of these relentless attacks.
Efforts by MONUSCO and other stakeholders to restore stability and protect the vulnerable population are ongoing, but the urgent need for increased security measures and support from the international community remains paramount in order to alleviate the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the region.