DRC Bombing Shows Urgent Need to Protect Civilians: PHR 

The bombing of internally displaced persons (IDP) camps in North Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) today shows the urgent need for international and national action to protect civilians during the escalating conflict, Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) said today. 

“Today’s bombing of internally displaced persons camps has once again has put Congolese civilians in the crossfire,” said Sam Zarifi, JD, PHR executive director. “All belligerents must respect the protection of civilian sites, including IDP camps, under international humanitarian law. It is unacceptable that people who have already fled for their lives are now being attacked in what should be a refuge.” 

At least nine people were killed in the attacks, according to Reuters. Goma hosts at least 500,000 displaced people, according to the United Nations. Médecins Sans Frontières DRC said on X that it had to halt distributions and medical consultations following the attacks.  

“Our partners who work in the IDP camps in the Mugunga area have reported scenes of carnage,” said Zarifi. “Humanitarian aid workers must be safe to save lives and do their jobs. National and international policymakers must work to protect DRC civilians during this mounting crisis.” 

Physicians for Human Rights has been working with partners in the DRC, including in the Bulengo IDP camp and in other parts of North Kivu, for 12 years to support survivors of sexual violence and train medical, law enforcement, and justice professionals to collect and document forensic evidence to combat impunity for these violations. 

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is a New York-based advocacy organization that uses science and medicine to prevent mass atrocities and severe human rights violations. Learn more here.

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