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URGENT APPEAL: Amnesty International Calls For Protection of Civilians Amidst Intensified Fighting in Eastern DRC

The Amnesty International have sent an urgent appeal to the authorities of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to protect and provide aid to civilians as fighting between the Congolese army and the M23 Rebel Group fighters intensifies in the eastern region of the country.

Regional director for Eastern and Southern Africa of the Amnesty International,Tigere Chagutah highlighted the urgency of the situation.

“Thousands of civilians find themselves caught in the crossfire again and are desperate to get humanitarian assistance following renewed heavy fighting around the city of Goma. All parties to the ongoing fighting in North Kivu must immediately end deliberate and indiscriminate attacks against civilians and ensure that they are protected and assisted as the conflict escalates” Chagutah said.

Chagutah also stressed the need for immediate and unrestricted access for humanitarian actors seeking to provide life-saving assistance to civilians who are in urgent need of shelter, food, sanitation and health services.

Close to a million people have so far been internally displaced with the strategic city of Goma now crowded with those seeking refuge.

Since the start of the violent clashes, the M23 rebels have taken over several towns in North Kivu Province and following the resume of intensified fighting that has resulted in the deaths of at least 35 civilians and the displacement of more than 135,000 others.

This alarming situation highlights the need for states and intergovernmental organizations in the region and around the world to reconsider their response to this crisis, according to Amnesty International.

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