DRC camp fire leaves families homeless

A devastating fire swept through a displacement camp in eastern Congo on Wednesday, destroying around 50 makeshift tents and leaving dozens of families homeless, according to the United Nations. 

The fire, believed to have originated during cooking activities, comes just weeks after the same camp endured deadly bomb attacks.

The Muganga camp, located near the provincial capital Goma, houses people displaced by the ongoing conflict in eastern Congo. 

A U.N. spokesperson stated that a previous attack in early May utilized unknown explosives and tragically claimed the lives of at least 18 people, injuring 32 more. 

Women and children made up the majority of the casualties.

“While trying to save my valuables, I lost everything,” said Anne Marie Nikuze, 60, a resident of the camp living with her children and grandchildren. 

“The tokens for receiving aid are gone, and the little we had is burned.”

Nikuze’s story reflects the despair felt by many who have lost not only their homes but also vital means to access essential humanitarian support.

Furaha Mulema Mariam, a mother of four, echoed the sentiment of displaced residents. 

“We barely escaped the bombings, and now this fire,” she lamented. “The only fortunate thing is that it happened during the day. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be here.”

The decades-long conflict in eastern Congo has resulted in a dire humanitarian crisis, considered one of the worst globally. 

Over 100 armed groups, vying for control of land and mineral resources, fuel the violence. 

While some groups claim to be protecting their communities, many are accused of horrendous acts, including mass killings and sexual violence.

This unrelenting conflict has displaced an estimated 7 million people, with thousands forced to seek refuge in temporary camps like Muganga. Countless others remain beyond the reach of aid organizations, trapped in a cycle of violence and despair.

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