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DRC's Triangle of Death

Two conflicts affect the population living in the area known as the 'triangle of death' in the northern part of Katanga province, one of Congo's richest provinces in natural resources. Intercommunal clashes between the Luba and the Twa ethnic groups, as well as continued attacks by the Mai Mai Bataka Katanga militiaand ongoing fighting with the national army (FARDC) have subjected the population to extreme violence, including the looting and burning of entire villages and human rights violations such as murder, mass rape, and the recruitment of children into armed groups. The violence has forced some 400,000 people to flee their homes since the end of 2012, bringing the total number of internally displaced people in the province to nearly 600,000. During the last three months, more than 71,000 people have been newly displaced. Sexual violence remains a serious concern. Between January and October 2014, protection monitors recorded 1,564 cases of sexual violence and referred them to medical partners for treatment. However, due to a lack of funding and the limited capacity of organisations assisting rape survivors in Katanga, only a limited number of them have access to health care, psychological support and legal assistance. To reach more survivors in a timely manner, mobile clinics are essential.

The limited presence of humanitarian and development organisations is also a serious problem, leading to insufficient assistance to displaced people who struggle to have access to basic services. There are 28 sites hosting IDPs in northern Katanga and many more displaced people live in host communities. While the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) has built some 1,500 emergency shelters since January 2014 but more are needed, including access to health care, potable water, food and education.

rian Sokol covered the critical situation in Congo's Katanga province which is part of the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the war-torn country.
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