DRC: IRIN News Briefs [19991126]

DRC: IRIN News Briefs [19991126]

REPUBLIC OF CONGO: IRIN News Briefs, Friday 26 November


Systematic rape of girls in "forgotten war"
Insecurity limiting food distributions
Army vaccinated 4,000 children
Main bank suspends cash withdrawals

Systematic rape of girls in "forgotten war"

Congolese children are facing "terrible suffering" in the country's
"forgotten war", the UN Special Representative for Children and Armed
Conflict, Olara Otunnu, said last Thursday. There were reports of
widespread atrocities, including the systematic rape of young girls,
children returning to Brazzaville were malnourished, and many were
severely wounded, he said. Otunnu, speaking to journalists in New York on
the tenth anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, urged
the international community to give the Congo's humanitarian crisis "the
attention it deserved," a UN statement said. Meanwhile, humanitarian
sources told IRIN this week that the number of serious human rights abuses
reported against returning internally-displaced persons (IDPs) had
increased. Those abuses included summary executions and rapes, the sources

Insecurity limiting food distributions

WFP has enough food in stock or in the "pipeline" to cover emergency needs
in the country for the coming period, a report from the UN Humanitarian
Coordinator for the Congo said on Saturday. However, due to lack of secure
access to many affected areas, only 300 mts of food aid was currently
being distributed a month, compared to the planned figure of 1,000 mts,
the report stated. It said a total of 100 mts of WFP food had so far been
delivered to Kinkala, some 77 kms from Brazzaville. Meanwhile, a recent UN
mission to Kinkala and nearby Boko confirmed that many IDPs were now
returning to villages in the area following improved security conditions
and the arrival of humanitarian workers, the report said.

Army vaccinated 4,000 children

Government military teams vaccinated some 4,000 children in Kinkala and
Kindamba during the UN-supported polio immunisation campaign last month,
the Humanitarian Coordinator's report said. About 300,000 children under
five years old were vaccinated in Brazzaville and Pointe-Noire, which
represented 60 percent of the campaign's target, it said.

Main bank suspends cash withdrawals

One of the country's biggest banks, the Banque Internationale du Congo
(BIDC), has been experiencing severe liquidity problems over the past
three weeks, diplomatic and media sources told IRIN. As a result, many
payments and cash withdrawals by account holders, in both CFA francs or
foreign currency, have been suspended, the sources said. Meanwhile, fuel
shortages have developed in Brazzaville and other areas of the country.


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Copyright (c) UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs 1999

Keyword: IRIN

Editor: Dr. Ali B. Ali-Dinar, Ph.D

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