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close this bookICRC Activities in Zaire/Democratic Republic of Congo: 1994 - 3 February 1999 (International Committee of the Red Cross , 124 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentZaire
View the documentZaire/Rwanda/Burundi: ICRC voices acute anxiety
View the documentZaïre: Masisi - a forgotten conflict
View the documentZaire: ICRC resumes activities in Masisi
Open this folder and view contentsZaire, (delegation also covers the Congo)
View the documentZaire: tragic plane crash in Kinshasa
View the documentRwanda/Zaire: “ICRC transit service”
View the documentZaire: new humanitarian emergency in North Kivu
View the documentUpdate No. 96/1 on ICRC activities in Rwanda
View the documentSouth Kivu: ICRC calls for restraint
View the documentUpdate No. 96/1 on ICRC activities in Zaire
View the documentKivu: a major human tragedy in the making
View the documentTribute to Zairian Red Cross volunteers
View the documentGreat Lakes Region: assistance in Goma
View the documentBreaking the humanitarian deadlock in Kivu
View the documentUpdate No. 96/2 on ICRC activities in Zaire
View the documentUpdate No. 96/3 on ICRC activities in Zaire
View the documentGreat Lakes: ICRC ready to act
View the documentUpdate No. 96/4 on ICRC activities in Zaire
View the documentGreat Lakes: volunteers in action
View the documentZaire: ICRC operation gets under way
View the documentUpdate No. 96/5 on ICRC activities in Zaire
View the documentUpdate No. 96/6 on ICRC activities in Zaire
View the documentUpdate No. 96/7 on ICRC activities in Zaire
View the documentGreat lakes: displaced: a zairian’s firsthand account “I had to cover 220 miles on foot”
View the documentUpdate No. 96/8 on ICRC activities related to the Zairian crisis
View the documentUpdate No. 9 on ICRC activities related to the Zairian crisis
View the documentRwanda: 1,000 children already reunited with their families
View the documentUpdate No. 10 on ICRC activities related to the Zairian crisis
View the documentUpdate No. 11 on ICRC activities related to the Zairian crisis
View the documentUpdate No. 12 on ICRC activities related to the Zairian crisis
View the documentUpdate No. 13 on ICRC activities related to the Zairian crisis
View the documentUpdate No. 14 on ICRC activities related to the Zairian crisis
View the documentUpdate No. 15 on ICRC activities related to the Zairian crisis
View the documentZaire: ICRC still only organization working in Shabunda
View the documentUpdate No. 16 on ICRC activities related to the Zairian crisis
View the documentZaire, (delegation also covers the Congo)
View the documentUpdate No. 1 on ICRC activities related to the Zairian crisis
View the documentRwanda: refugees return to Kamembe
View the documentRwanda: nearly 8,000 children reunited with their families
View the documentUpdate No. 97/02 on ICRC activities related to the Zairian crisis
View the documentUpdate No. 97/03 on ICRC activities related to the Zairian conflict
View the documentUpdate No. 97/04 on ICRC activities related to the Zairian conflict
View the documentZaire: back in Kisangani
View the documentZaire: ICRC demands access to conflict victims
View the documentZaire: airlift for displaced Zairians
View the documentZaire: Lives of thousands of refugees at stave
View the documentZaire: More than 2,000 Zairians back home
View the documentUpdate No. 97/6 on ICRC activities related to the Zairian conflict
View the documentZaire
View the documentZaire: Ten volunteers of the Zairian Red Cross killed in Kenge
View the documentUpdate No. 97/8 on ICRC activities related to the Zairian conflict
View the documentZaire: More work for the tracing agency
View the documentDemocratic Republic of Congo (former Zaire): After the storm
View the documentUpdate No. 9 on ICRC activities in the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire) and neighbouring countries
View the documentRwanda: Do you know this child?
View the documentDemocratic Republic of Congo: Homeward bound
View the documentUpdate No. 97/10 on ICRC activities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (former Zaire)
View the documentBrazzaville and Kinshasa: Medical aid on both sides of the river Congo
View the documentUpdate No. 2 on ICRC activities in Congo-Brazzaville
View the documentBrazzaville/Kinshasa: Relief work progressing
View the documentDemocratic Republic of the Congo: Priority in Kivu given to clean water and medical care
View the documentDemocratic Republic of the Congo: Displaced people go home on barges
View the documentDemocratic Republic of the Congo
View the documentICRC denounces killing of employee in Kinshasa
View the documentThe ICRC condemns and deplores two serious security incidents
View the documentDemocratic Republic of the Congo: ICRC opens office in Bunia
View the documentDemocratic Republic of the Congo: Health programme in Oriental province
View the documentDemocratic Republic of the Congo: inauguration of limb-fitting workshop in Kinshasa
View the documentDemocratic Republic of the Congo: ICRC appeals for compliance with humanitarian rules
View the documentDemocratic Republic of the Congo: First visits to detainees and water for population
View the documentDemocratic Republic of the Congo: Water and war
View the documentDemocratic Republic of the Congo: ICRC gains access to further place of detention in Kinshasa
View the documentDemocratic Republic of the Congo: Visits to detainees and family news
View the documentDemocratic Republic of the Congo
View the documentCentral African Republic: Congolese civilians arrive in Bangui
View the documentDemocratic Republic of the Congo: ICRC opens an office in Kalemie

Great lakes: displaced: a zairian’s firsthand account “I had to cover 220 miles on foot”

20 November 1996
ICRC News 96/46

“The fighting spread to the entire town, even the night before. We had no choice. We had to leave Bukavu for Walikale and then Kisangani”. The ICRC employee left on that fateful day, 30 October. Fleeing the conflict, he became a Zairian displaced person like thousands of others. With a bundle on his head, he stepped up the pace, passing groups of civilians - mainly old people, women and children - all trudging north-west. “Every five minutes I passed yet another straggling band of displaced people”. He walked six days without stopping, rested one day, and then rejoined the exodus, his only sustenance some sugar cane and a bit of cassava meal given by the elders of the villages along the way. To steer clear of the perils of the main road, he wandered for 18 days from country trails to forest tracks. Finally, on Saturday 16 November, exhausted, he knocked on the door of the ICRC office in Kisangani. He wanted just three things: news about his family which had left Bukavu before him, food, and water.

This ICRC employee’s story is but one example of what is happening all over Kivu: thousands of Zairian men, women and children are fleeing, and no one knows for sure where they are or what help they need. Their plight is today the ICRC’s main concern in Zaire. Since the beginning of the crisis and for the last three weeks the ICRC has attempted to gain access to these victims who have been displaced by the conflict and deprived of any assistance. The head of the Kisangani sub-delegation, Andreas Fuog, believes that in the next few days there will be an influx of displaced Zairian families fleeing Bukavu on foot, but it is difficult to estimate how many. They are expected to arrive soon after the ICRC employee, who was able to move faster because he was young and on his own.

Notwithstanding the multiple difficulties barring access to these thousands of displaced people, the ICRC and the Red Cross Society of the Republic of Zaire have sent a truck loaded with four tonnes of medicines, food and blankets to meet them on the way. It set out from the ICRC’s logistic base in Kisangani on 20 November.

The ICRC is taking every possible step in the capital to ascertain the whereabouts of all the victims and set up an emergency assistance programme.