28 Feb. (EUROPA PRESS) –
The United Nations humanitarian coordinator for the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Bruno Lemarquis, has called on all parties to the conflict to “respect humanitarian air operations”, after having temporarily suspended humanitarian aid in the city of Goma, in the east of the country, due to insecurity.
“We are extremely concerned about the safety of air operations and the humanitarian actions that depend on them to care for the most vulnerable groups of the population,” he explained in a statement.
“We call on all parties to the conflict to respect international human rights and forgive humanitarian actors and assets, including humanitarian air operations. We must work together to create an enabling environment to facilitate humanitarian aid to people in need.” “, has added.
On Monday, the organization announced the temporary suspension of this type of humanitarian aid operations due to the increase in armed attacks and clashes between the Army and the rebels of the March 23 Movement (M23).
The World Food Program (WFP) said in statements given to the Congolese radio station Radio Okapi that the decision was taken after a helicopter of the UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) was targeted by shots on Friday before landing, although the three crew members and ten passengers traveling in the helicopter were unharmed.
The eastern DRC is the scene of a deepening crisis of displaced persons due to the latest advances of the M23, amid Kinshasa’s accusations against Rwanda for supporting the rebel group, something rejected by Kigali, which accuses the neighboring country of inciting the armed conflict.