Top UN relief official urges parties in Congo to allow access for aid workers
Alarmed at reports of the worsening humanitarian situation in the Republic of the Congo, a top United Nations relief official today appealed to all parties in the conflict to respect humanitarian principles, especially those that provide for the protection of civilian in armed conflict, and allow aid workers access to those in need.
Fighting between members of the Ninja militia and government forces that began on 27 March in the Pool region has now spread into sections of the capital, Brazzaville, according to a statement by Kenzo Oshima, the UN's Emergency Relief Coordinator.
UN humanitarian agencies have confirmed that 15,000 people have been internally displaced and that tens of thousands more were on the move. "Assessment teams are being dispatched to those areas where access is possible to ascertain the numbers and conditions of the internally displaced persons," Mr. Oshima said.
In Brazzaville, UN agencies were setting up inter-agency teams to devise a coordinated response to growing humanitarian needs.