In recent discussion with our director in Bunia, Mozart Dino Kile, he advised that the massacres in the region have ceased with the arrival of UN peacekeepers, and the DRC military are now seeking to apprehend the perpetrators of the violence. In his very stark and sad words, the “next massacre” is beginning as disease takes hold in the tarpaulin camps that are the displaced’ meagre accommodation. The sad truth is that the busiest people in Bunia right now are the grave diggers, with death rates rising as more and more (especially children) die of preventable diseases in the camps.
So much more help is needed from the UN and other NGOs to provide the necessary nutrition, medicine, and access to clean water. In the meantime HCLS are doing all they can to care for the displaced. We have almost 500 people sheltering with teachers, staff members and a local church community, and we are so very grateful for the resources that have been provided from generous individuals, churches and organisations. These resources will allow us to continue supporting these people with food and emergency medical care which will make a huge difference to their immediate prospects.
There are a few people taking the risk of moving back to their villages, but the majority do not trust that the peace will be lasting and they are choosing to take the risk of staying in the camps. And who can blame them for choosing what they see as the lesser of the two evils?