You are in:
Home » Countries

D.R.Congo

| Project open

Mission

D.R.Congo
Sat, 26/01/2013 - Tue, 02/04/2013

For years, INTERSOS has studied and evaluated the possibility of intervening in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to bring aid to a population affected by war. As a result of several assessments and information collections the organization decided to approach the North Eastern Province Orientale (PO), the Haut- and Bas-Uélé Districts. The main problem in the region is a consequence of violence (abduction, looting, blackmailing, physical harm…) committed by armed groups or individuals in general, and by LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army) in particular, that is against the civilian population in the region forced to flee their villages and ground.
From Northern Uganda the LRA has established its deadly presence in this area and is perpetrating attacks to civilians and villagers. It is estimated that this militia is the cause of more than 5000 deaths since the end of 2008 when the infamous Christmas massacre opened a period of blood and violence in the area.Thanks to in-depth assessments and to the activity in Southern Sudan, where the organization is managing two Congolese refugee camps seeking protection from the LRA, INTERSOS has managed to establish its first operational presence in the Haut-Uélé District in November 2010. All intervention in the DRC started within a partnership framework with UNHCR in the area around Doruma (Dungu Territory) bordering directly the South-Sudan.

Within the last two years we have been able to enlarge our commitment in the North Eastern province of the DRC in terms of areas and sectors of intervention. INTERSOS  is currently concentrating its efforts in the area of Doruma, Dungu and Duru (Haut-Uele, Dungu Territory) and of Banda (Bas-Uele, Ango Territory) Moreover, INTERSOS will start in February 2013 new operations in the Ituri District (Djugu, Irumu and Mambasa Districts) from their new Bunia and Mambasa base as well as in the Tshopo District (Bafwasende District) from the Mambasa base. All commitment aims to provide assistance to the victims of the LRA and other armed groups with specific actions on the protection of civilians, particularly the most vulnerable and fragile.  Protection (protection monitoring, Sexual Gender Based Violence – SGBV and HIV/AIDS), education (rehabilitation/construction of schools, capacity building of educational stakeholders, school reintegration of children of armed violence and returned teachers…) and the provision of basic services are the main sectors of intervention.

INTERSOS is also proposing a regional perspective to the LRA issue, currently implementing an ECHO financed cross-border protection project which will improve the existing network of information sharing between Western Equatoria State in the Republic of South Sudan (RoSS) and the Haut- and Bas-Uélé Disticts in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) based on its cross border activity.
INTERSOS is currently assisting more than 550,000 Congolese (direct and indirect beneficiaries) through institutional funding (ECHO, Pooled Fund, UNHCR…).
Moreover, with a 75 people staff, INTERSOS works for improving and strengthening Congolese children's education. In 20111/2012 we built 3 schools in Doruma (Haut-Uélé, Dungu Territory) and in 2012/2013 it will be 2 new schools in Duru (Haut-Uélé, Dungu Territory). In 2012, 400 children, 30 of them are child soldiers, have been part of the school reintegration program.

Context

The curse that is affecting this part of Africa is called LRA, notorious acronym for the 'Lord Resistance Army', led by militia leader Kony. After decades of bloody violence against civilians in northern Uganda, by Christmas of 2008 the LRA moved into the forests of northern DRC to carry out raids against the population. Other armed groups – armed splinter or rebel groups and/or armed criminal elements - are active in the area and it is very difficult to estimate their composition and movement. It is almost impossible to understand their strategies and their goals as well, unless they all have in common lootings, violence, abduction/kidnapping, blackmailing and indiscriminate killings of local population that keep the North-East of the country in a climate of insecurity and destabilization.
To date, since the end of 2008, it is estimated that there are more than 5,000 victims in the North of the country and thousands of people fleeing both within the DRC and in the neighboring Southern Sudan.
Another big problem in the region is the advent of self-defense groups along the main axes in the North-East of the country. Due to low presence or mostly absence of actors of security (police) and of defense/border control (national armed forces) especially in the rural and remote areas local population is filling the gap by defending themselves against violence and crime. Lots of arms are circulating so it seems to be easy to establish armed local forces. The problem is how to control them. New problems of security are the consequence.
Finally, the North-East is prone to another, long lasting and almost political issue which is the acceptance of the nomadic population in the DRC. The nomadic tribe of the Mbororo lives and migrates in the North-Western part of the Dungu District (Haut-Uele) and in the North-Eastern part of the Ango District (Bas-Uele). They are drovers and cattle dealers and belong to one of the nomadic tribes that are every year migrating the whole sub-Saharan region. There is ongoing tension between the local population and Mbororo. In addition, they are always armed in order to defend their cattle from robbery. The most recent incidents between alleged elements of this nomadic tribe and the local population have been reported from the Doruma area in December 2012.

(For further information on this problem see INTERSOS report on reliefweb.int: http://reliefweb.int/report/central-african-republic/drc-haut-uélé-rising-tensions-between-mbororo-nomads-and-local

On going intervention

Protection:

A new protection project has been started last year with funding of the European Commission (ECHO). The project is following up the previous protection activities in the Haut- and Bas-Uele targeting the victims of armed conflicts caused by LRA groups and/or other armed elements. New is this time the approach. Having two missions in neighboring countries INTERSOS will take advantage from these circumstances through a cross-border protection project. INTERSOS DRC and INTERSOS RoSS are collaborating in a joint protection intervention by having two teams on both sides of the border, by coordinating activities, by exchanging data and information, by having regular meetings in both countries. The main activities are the identification and orientation of victims of armed conflicts, their psycho-social assistance and their socio-economic reintegration through income generating activities. Another added value of this project is the coordination in the framework of protection activities between the partners in the DRC, RoSS and if possible even in the Central African Republic (CAR).
INTERSOS is the new key protection partner of the UNHCR in the entire Province Orientale (PO) in 2013. Thus, INTERSOS will continue operating in the Haut- and Bas-Uele Districts by conducting protection monitoring activities. New sectors of intervention within the field of protection will be SGBV and HIV/AIDS activities in these two districts. Moreover, INTERSOS implements SGBV and protection monitoring activities for the very first time in the Ituri (Djugu, Irumu & Mambasa Territory) and Tshopo Districts (Bafwasende Territory) through its new bases in Bunia and Mambasa. According to UNOCHA (Bunia office), the Mambasa and Djugu Territories are currently the regions which are mostly prone to protection issues in the Ituri District.

Education:

Almost the same project setup with the same donor (Pooled Fund) has been implemented one year later along the axis of Duru-Bitima (Fungu District, Hau-Uele) due to the fact that the situation of the local population, especially of the children, and the general context (security, gaps and needs in education) are similar to the Doruma area.  
 

Intersos in the country

INTERSOS began its mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in November 2010 focusing on the protection of people displaced by armed conflicts and violence that elements of LRA or other armed groups continue to perpetrate in the North of the country.
The initial project, funded by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), aimed to identify the villages with the major humanitarian needs in terms of lack of security and basic services such as water, health, education, etc. INTERSOS identified, with the help of other humanitarian actors, civil society and the beneficiaries themselves, the appropriate steps of action through implementation of quick impact projects (QIPs) for immediate intervention and rapid implementation.
Since then, the mission evolved as new funding has been acquired, new sectors of intervention identified and new areas of intervention targeted:

Previous activities:

Education:

An education project financed by Pooled Fund (a multidonor funding mechanism in the DRC) was carried out in the area of Doruma (Dungu District, Haut-Uele)in order to improve the educational situation in terms of infrastructure (rehabilitation/construction of facilities) and performance (distribution of equipment/material, training/capacity building and sensitization) for the children affected by armed violence (LRA and other perpetrators) as well as of those who are vulnerable. In addition, the project also targeted those teachers who returned, in the aftermath of atrocities they witnessed, to their places of origin and needed to get reintegrated in the school system.

Protection:

The intial protection project funded by UNHCR was followed by further protection activities in the region. One protection project was financed by the European Commission (ECHO) and targeted the local population being affected by armed violence of LRA and other elements along the Sudanese border in the Bas- and Haut-Uele Districts. This project combined monitoring activities with first support to traumatized victims of armed violence through psychosocial and other assistance and later on through their socio-economic reintegration by implementing income generating activities. Further to the initial UNHCR project INTERSOS continued to partner with UNHCR in the protection sector in the Haut- and Bas-Uele Districts of the Province Orientale. The main focus has been always protection monitoring, psycho-social and other assistance (referral to health facilities…), socio-economic reintegration of the victims through income generating activities, further support to vulnerable through quick impact projects (QIPs), training and capacity building of local stakeholders on aspects of protection (rights of prisoners, human rights, the Congolese legal system) and the fight for impunity.

Logistics:

INTERSOS showed further commitment to face one of the biggest challenges and constraints in the country besides security which is infrastructure. Especially in the Eastern Region of the DRC, which embraces the Province Orientale, North- and South-Kivu and parts of Katanga, infrastructure is key for the humanitarian actors to access the beneficiaries. Road access is a real issue due to the very poor situation of roads and bridges. In addition, the Province Orientale has a very long and heavy rainy season. Therefore, INTERSOS rehabilitated two bridges in the area between Doruma and the South-Sudanese border. The funding was secured by the World Food Program (WFP).

Current activities:

Protection:

A new protection project has been started last year with funding of the European Commission (ECHO). The project is following up the previous protection activities in the Haut- and Bas-Uele targeting the victims of armed conflicts caused by LRA groups and/or other armed elements. New is this time the approach. Having two missions in neighboring countries INTERSOS will take advantage from these circumstances through a cross-border protection project. INTERSOS DRC and INTERSOS RoSS are collaborating in a joint protection intervention by having two teams on both sides of the border, by coordinating activities, by exchanging data and information, by having regular meetings in both countries. The main activities are the identification and orientation of victims of armed conflicts, their psycho-social assistance and their socio-economic reintegration through income generating activities. Another added value of this project is the coordination in the framework of protection activities between the partners in the DRC, RoSS and if possible even in the Central African Republic (CAR).
INTERSOS is the new key protection partner of the UNHCR in the entire Province Orientale (PO) in 2013. Thus, INTERSOS will continue operating in the Haut- and Bas-Uele Districts by conducting protection monitoring activities. New sectors of intervention within the field of protection will be SGBV and HIV/AIDS activities in these two districts. Moreover, INTERSOS implements SGBV and protection monitoring activities for the very first time in the Ituri (Djugu, Irumu & Mambasa Territory) and Tshopo Districts (Bafwasende Territory) through its new bases in Bunia and Mambasa. According to UNOCHA (Bunia office), the Mambasa and Djugu Territories are currently the regions which are mostly prone to protection issues in the Ituri District.

Education:

Almost the same project setup with the same donor (Pooled Fund) has been implemented one year later along the axis of Duru-Bitima (Fungu District, Hau-Uele) due to the fact that the situation of the local population, especially of the children, and the general context (security, gaps and needs in education) are similar to the Doruma area. 

From the field

Dossier

News