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'The DRC crisis, one of the most neglected in the world' says UN

Bruno Lemarquis, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator, MONUSCO   -  
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Democratic Republic Of Congo

The United Nations has warned that the humanitarian situation in the restive eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has worsened, including with gender-based violence.

Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Bruno Lemarquis at the UN Stabilization Mission (MONUSCO), in the DRC gave the warning on Tuesday.

“The crisis in the DRC is one of the most severe, complex, prolonged, protracted and neglected in the world" Lemarquis told the UN briefing via video. "The resurgence of hostility in eastern DRC, especially in North Kivu, is deeply concerning, and violent clashes between the group called M23 and the Congolese armed forces, FARDC in acronym, have intensified, leading to severe humanitarian consequences and displacement” he added.

The latest comes as the United Nations plans to withdraw peacekeepers from the region by the end of the year. More than 25 million people are in dire need of humanitarian aid to survive and over seven million displaced have been displaced by the conflict according to the UNHCR. 

“The country is also currently affected by the very, very severe floods affecting 2 million people and many provinces across the country, with the Congo River at its highest level since 1961” according to Lemarquis.

Eastern Congo has been beset by conflict for years, with M23 among more than 100 armed groups vying for a foothold in the mineral-rich area near the border with Rwanda. 

Analysts say a new disaster could largely go unnoticed there because of the attention on the war in Gaza and Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

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