Relief Efforts Under Way for Bunia, Congo

KINSHASA, Congo, JUNE 3, 2003 (ZENIT.orgFides).- Caritas-Congo sent eight tons of medicines to the troubled town of Bunia, thanks to contributions from Caritas-Germany and Ireland’s Trócaire.

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Bunia, located in the Ituri region, has been the scene of recent fighting between Hema and Lendu militias. Many people have fled their homes.

The diocesan Caritas is caring for 40,000 people at the Muhito center, 12 kilometers (7 miles) north of the city.

To help Bunia’s inhabitants, the Catholic Church in the Congo has undertaken an effort of solidarity. Caritas-Goma has launched a campaign to aid Bunia.

For its part, Caritas-Développement of Kinshasa will send a mission to Ituri as soon as possible to reinforce local aid structures.

Following the precarious truce of May 27, some residents are returning to the city.

Caritas-Congo said in a statement: «At present minimal conditions of security exist for humanitarian personnel to come to Bunia, while awaiting the U.N. Security Council’s decision to deploy, as soon as possible, an international force to maintain peace in Ituri.»

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