35 civilians killed in DR Congo, says UN

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35 civilians killed in DR Congo, says UN

A humanitarian transport plane takes off on Jan 14, 2022 at the dirt runway of Mahagi Airport in northern Ituri province. ALEXIS HUGUET AFP UNITED NATIONS -- UN Humanitarians said on Monday that 35 civilians have been killed in Ituri province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, noting that the deadly situation limits aid delivery.

One displaced person and 19 people who have recently returned to their homes are among the 35 killed in Djugu and Irumu territories last week, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian AffairsUN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Insecurity forced nine humanitarian organizations, one UN agency and eight international non-governmental organizations to suspend their road movements in the Irumu and Mambasa territories, delaying the provision of assistance to thousands of people, it said. The humanitarian situation in Ituri has deteriorated since October last year, when attacks on civilians have increased, including on sites for displaced people. The attacks triggered significant population movements, OCHA said. The violence has also affected food production in Ituri, leaving thousands of families with not enough food to eat, the humanitarians said. One in five people in Djugu have emergency hunger levels, and about 3 million people are affected by food insecurity.

Between March 2020 and March 2022, about 211 schools were destroyed or damaged, leaving over 55,000 children out of school, according to OCHA.

The UN and its partners continue to help civilians despite the volatile situation, according to the office. Eight shelter, food security, nutrition, and protection projects operate in the Komanda and Mambasa territories.