Civilian population in Democratic Republic of Congo under fire

Fighting claim more civilian lives than previously reported
Press release: Amsterdam/Kisangani, May 7th 2000 - Heavy shelling between Rwandan and Ugandan troops in and around the eastern city of Kisangani in the Democratic Republic of Congo has claimed more lives under the civilian population than previously reported. This morning a joint mission of the ICRC and MSF visited 41 different health-centres and four general hospitals in Kisangani. The investigation showed 28 confirmed deaths - 27 civilians and one soldier - and 159 wounded -155 civilians and four soldiers -. The fighting between Ugandan and Rwandan troops broke out last Friday. Within one day both sides fired between 300 and 400 shells causing extensive damage in parts of the city and causing panic under the civilian population of Kisangani seeking refuge. The MSF teams also went in hiding. One MSF building was hit, severely damaging the office. The relative calm of today gave the joint mission the opportunity to do an inventory as well at the health centres and the hospitals. Medicines and medical material will be distributed. Again, like in august 1999, the civilian population of Kisangani (population app. 500,000) is victim of the ongoing tensions between warring parties. MSF calls for suspension of all ongoing hostilities affecting the civilian population of Kisangani. MSF is running medical and nutritional programs in the Oriental province and its capital Kisangani.