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.
Oxfam reaction to UN Security Council debate on the Lord Resistance Army (LRA)
Oistein Thorsen, humanitarian campaigner at Oxfam International said:
"This recent international focus on one of Africa’s most brutal rebel groups is hugely significant.
"Oxfam works with people in central Africa who live in daily fear of attack. The Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) is one of the longest-running rebel groups in Africa - it continues to terrorize communities across vast areas. Between May and June this year, Oxfam interviewed 322 people in nine communities in north-eastern DR of Congo. We found that 62 per cent felt less safe than last year, largely due to the presence of the LRA.
"Despite regular attacks and abductions this year, there has been no significant increase in the number of UN peacekeepers in the areas terrorized by the LRA. Only five per cent of the DRC mission, MONUSCO’s total force is deployed to LRA areas, while more than 20 per cent of population displacements in the Congo are in there.
"The UN Security Council needs to ensure Governments in central Africa and UN missions are singing from the same songsheet and working together to better protect people. This means much better cross-border coordination and an urgent redeployment of peacekeepers to LRA-affected areas. We need to make sure that people can finally sleep in safety rather than fear.”
Slideshow: Isolation breeds insecurity in the DR Congo
Latest Oxfam survey on security in DRC: ‘We are entirely exploitable’: The lack of protection for civilians in eastern DRC
Oxfam's humanitarian response to the Conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Louis Belanger - Oxfam International +1 917 224 0834