The United Nations refugee agency has announced a desperate need for more resources and assistance for Congo refugees, and is soon planning to internationally appeal for additional help from other nations.
The Congo refugees who fled from the Likouala region near the Oubangui River came seeking better resources and safety due to violent struggles between Congo and the Dominic Republic of Congo over the fishing waters that provide a healthy but limited bounty of fish. Violence and deadly disputes have only recently erupted and so far, compared to other areas, the number of people who have been murdered is small: about 300 individuals, of which roughly 200 are civilians.
The number of Congo refugees who were displaced stands much higher though at 15,000 people. Refugee health is an important part of the United Nation’s agenda but increased violence and need in other areas have taken precedence. However, due to the fact that the United Nations considers this crisis fixable, plans have been set into motion immediately for the help of Congo refugees.
Another difference in the amount of Congo refugees is the fact that unlike other areas, the amount of Congo refugees that have fled the Democratic Republic of Congo has slowed. Still, the United Nations has had difficulty in delivering supplies to these Congo refugees, as, for the most part, they are only accessible by water travel via the river.
More help for the Congo refugees has recently been promised by France. France’s foreign minister Bernard Koucher made a visit to Brazzaville to see the conditions that have afflicted the people. Set on improving refugee health, France is planning on sending a cargo plane to Brazzaville that will carry boats and vehicles; these will be used to carry resources and supplies to the Congo refugees.