Kinsangani littered with unexploded devices
24 June 2000
With the end of recent clashes between military forces in the city of Kisangani, DRC, the work of present UN security forces and specialised aid organisations has been directed towards clearing the area of unexploded objects (UXOs) that were placed during the conflict. The presence of UXOs in a civilian area raises the possibility of additional injuries or deaths to the local population. So far, 242 sites with explosives have been identified and protected. There were 450 UXO discovered in one day. There is often more than one UXO in one location. At present, there is no total number for UXOs discovered. The Tshopo bridge has also been de-mined. The Tshopo Bridge was an integral front line location during the recent fighting and is also an area where there is a substantial civilian population. Casualties during the conflict were higher in this area. Demining the bridge also means civilian movement across the bridge is safe. Within Kisangani, the destruction of buildings is better documented and presents some of the pressing issues being faced in the care of the local population. At present, 1,336 houses have been destroyed and so are unsuitable for accommodation. The displaced population in and around Kisangani remains a severe problem for humanitarian organisations operating in the region. Estimations are of 61,000 IDP (Internally Displaced Population), of which 5,000 are within Kisangani. The IDP in Mobi numbers 32000. This means the vast majority remain outside the city where offering care is more problematic for humanitarian organisations, because of the logistics of travel. Also, some of the IDP numbers are not staying in one locale, bringing other concerns about providing consistent and effective care. Many people are visiting Kisangani during the day but preferring to remain outside the city during the night. Humanitarian goods are continuing to arrive. In total, 284 tonnes of goods have been delivered since June 12 - 111 tonnes from the capital, Kinshasa. Half of the total was food supplies.