A desperate and largely unknown humanitarian crisis is deteriorating in the Lake Chad Basin region of West Africa, forcing millions of people to flee their homes and leaving millions more in need of humanitarian assistance. Oxfam is providing life-saving support but help is urgently needed to prevent the crisis turning into a catastrophe.
As 2014 starts, there are reasons to hope that peace may be in sight in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). National initiatives and committed regional and international political engagement in 2013 led to important advances and new framework agreements to resolve the conflict and insecurity.
However, the people Oxfam talked to across eastern DRC reported that their situation remains precarious, particularly in remote areas where there is little state presence.
Ongoing national, regional and international engagement is needed, as well as efforts to ensure that high level agreements and initiatives are systematically linked to community experiences. Without these, it is possible that this rare opportunity will be wasted.
In spite of a poor record, the majority of communities still see state institutions as the solution to their security. However there is still a long way to go before state authorities have the presence, accountability and legitimacy in eastern DRC to ensure the safety of the people living there.
This report includes recommendations for action by: the Government of DRC; other governments in the region; the African Union; MONUSCO; international governments; and the Special Envoys/Coordinators to the Great Lakes region from the UN, AU, EU and USA.