UN official pledges to step up aid after Congo camp attack
A senior UN peacekeeper has vowed to step up humanitarian aid to Congo’s Ituri province, where militiamen killed at least 60 people in a camp for displaced people this month.
UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix made the pledge on Tuesday during a visit to the region, coming after UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres canceled his trip due to the growing crisis in Ukraine.
“The United Nations has not forgotten the people of Ituri and will continue to support the Congolese government to restore peace,” said Lacroix, who visited the Roe IDP camp and also met with local leaders.
The CODECO militia, which a watchdog group blamed for the early February attack on the camp, is also believed to be responsible for dozens of other deaths over the past year. Rebels from the Allied Democratic Forces, or ADF, are also active in the region.
The instability has caused many aid agencies to suspend their work, and advocates say the needs of the local population are now huge with limited resources available.
Lacroix said he spoke with local officials about the importance of providing security for camps for displaced people.
“More must be done against armed groups and humanitarian access must continue to be ensured,” tweeted Lacroix.
Associated Press writer Jean-Yves Kamale in Kinshasa, Congo contributed.