New team in Ituri, DRC
5 January 2000
In connection with the mounting tension in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo, MSF is dispatching an extra team to the region north of Bunia. Since July 1999, the Hema and Lendu tribes have been at war with each other. Some 180,000 people have been displaced as a result of the crisis. The team is based in Bunia, which has a predominantly Hema population. MSF and other organisations were recently accused of not being neutral. MSF will therefore station a new team in Rethy or Mahagi, which have a predominantly Lendo population. The aim is to have a team of expatriates present on both sides in the conflict until at least June. The MSF staff members meet many displaced persons with traumatic experiences. Scores of adults and children with machete wounds are being treated at the various hospitals in the region and the violence is not likely to come to an end soon.