UN must not abandon the Democratic Republic of Congo, Oxfam warns
International aid agency Oxfam today welcomed UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and urged UN member states not to abandon the war-torn country in the wake of the recent successful elections.
Oxfam hopes that going to the DRC on his first official foreign trip demonstrates Mr. Ban’s commitment to reversing one of the world’s most dire humanitarian crises. Despite the shift towards democracy, the country remains extremely unstable, with more than 1,000 civilians reportedly dying each day from conflict-related causes.
“The DRC is at a critical point,” said Juliette Prodhan, head of Oxfam in the DRC.
“December’s elections were a success but the new government structures are fragile. Without the continuing support of the UN peacekeepers there is a risk that the DRC could slide back into conflict and chaos. Oxfam hopes that the UN member states will not abandon the millions of Congolese who voted for peace and stability.”
Oxfam called on Mr Ban to encourage the Security Council to keep the UN peacekeeping force (MONUC) at its current strength when its mandate is renewed in February and not to draw down troop numbers prematurely. Despite a difficult start, MONUC has been an essential part of the Congo’s transformation. As well as protecting civilians, the peacekeeping force should also concentrate on supporting the new Congolese government in training its security forces, which regularly attacks civilians, so they can instead defend the country and protect its citizens.
“While peacekeeping demands in Africa are on the rise, finding troops to protect vulnerable people from Somalia to Sudan should not come at the expense of security for long-suffering Congolese,” said Prodhan. “It is the responsibility of the international community to ensure that the basic human rights of all civilians living under the devastating spectre of war are respected.”
For further information, please contact:
Beatrice Karanja, Oxfam Regional Media and Communications Officer:
Tel: +254 20 2820136, Mobile: +254 733 632810 or +254 726 875507,
Sean Kenny, Oxfam Press Officer
Tel: + 44 788 165 5715
Eva Marie Smets, Oxfam Policy and Advocay Coordinator, DRC
Tel: +243 81 3489309
RT @OxfamIreland: Ireland pledges €2.5 million in aid to Mali to contribute to reconstruction http://t.co/wvUzsRsHoD via @IrishTimes #Mal…2 hours 38 min ago
As @UN Disaster Risk Reduction Conference ends, worth checking #GPDRR13 for great tweets from @unisdr @UNOCHA @Federation et al3 hours 9 min ago
RT @UNOCHA: Only 3% of all #humanitarian aid was allocated towards disaster prevention & preparedness measures in 2012 - http://t.co/cT0OwU…3 hours 12 min ago
As food scandals hit the headlines, is food safety a casualty of today’s high & volatile #foodprices? http://t.co/Yuh7N0RUtN3 hours 38 min ago
RT @OxfamAmerica: Our deepest sympathies to @DivineChocolate on the loss of Christiana Ohene-Agyare, Pres. of Kuapa Kokoo in #Ghana http://…4 hours 32 min ago
What success at the #G8 would look like: 'We’ll stop hurting our brothers & sisters' http://t.co/yjtQNoc64W #land #taxjustice5 hours 27 min ago
Ban Ki-moon's visit to Goma, #DRC welcomed following new explosion of violence, but its causes need to be addressed http://t.co/2wATHBmLrm6 hours 24 min ago
Why is Russia still arming #Syria? Interesting @NYTimes editorial http://t.co/mDrecVJf4v #oil #NYT #SyriaCrisis7 hours 12 min ago
Oops, correct link here to press release: ‘Squeezed’: how poor ppl are adjusting to rising #foodprices http://t.co/lgDXW3bjK07 hours 36 min ago
#EU leaders back the interests of an elite minority, fail to clamp down on #taxdodging http://t.co/VNbvkyMmyG @OxfamEU7 hours 51 min ago
RT @louis_press: Lebanon saw an increase of 12% of its population (500.000) w/ #refugees from #Syria = As if 7.5m would enter Great Britain…9 hours 9 min ago
RT @louis_press: Untold story of #syria war is the incredible generosity + hospitality of ppl of #Lebanon #Jordan #Iraq. Despite tensions, …9 hours 26 min ago
More than 80,000 people have been killed & several million displaced since the #SyriaCrisis began http://t.co/WYbyDUytmX #Syria9 hours 37 min ago
Delayed weddings & funerals: Today’s high #foodprices are exacting a deep social cost on poor people http://t.co/eUru4L7Y7810 hours 40 min ago
Risky jobs & domestic violence = the social cost of today’s high #foodprices http://t.co/UFZRYFYWqi new Oxfam & @IDS_UK report12 hours 11 min ago