Security officers stand before a banner of Pope Francis at the N'Dolo Airport in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), 01 February 2023. EFE/EPA/FILE/CIRO FUSCO

UN suspends aid in DR Congo due to renewed clashes

Kinshasa, Oct 26 (EFE).- The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) has partially suspended its emergency aid distribution to hundreds of thousands of displaced people in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) due to renewed clashes between pro-regime militias and a rebel group.

“WFP has been forced to suspend its cash distributions after fighting broke out between two non-state armed groups close to (the city of) Goma, Eastern DRC,” the UN agency said late Wednesday on its social media platform X, formerly Twitter.

Before the suspension, WFP had reached approximately half of the 117,000 people residing in Internally Displaced Camps across the Kanyaruchinya and Munigi areas.

These camps mainly shelter people who have fled conflict in Rutshuru and Masisi territories in the North Kivu province, where the ongoing fighting has displaced nearly 200,000 people in October.

Over recent years, violence has forced approximately 2.4 million people to flee their homes in this province.

The aid suspension comes after new clashes broke out between pro-government militias and the rebel group known as the March 23 Movement (M23) near Goma, the capital of North Kivu.

In recent months, the M23 has made significant territorial gains and is currently fighting against pro-government forces in the town of Kibumba, situated just 20 kilometers from Goma, one of the most densely populated cities in eastern Congo, where several humanitarian organizations have their offices.

The Congolese government has accused neighboring Rwanda of supporting the M23 group, an allegation that Kigali denies.

In turn, Rwanda had accused the Congolese army of supporting the rebel Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), who have been fighting for gaining power since 2000.

Eastern DR Congo has been witnessing conflict between its army and rebel militias since 1998. EFE