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DR CONGO: Artillery fire causes displaced people to flee Don Bosco Shasha

Thousands had settled on grounds during ongoing conflict

Missionaries in Democratic Republic.

Missionaries in Democratic Republic.

(MissionNewswire) Salesians in Goma and surrounding areas of the Democratic Republic of the Congo* are supporting people who have been displaced because of ongoing conflict. The conflict has left more than 5.8 million people displaced across the provinces of Ituri, North Kivu, South Kivu and Tanganyika, according to UNHCR – the United Nations Refugee Agency.

Thousands of displaced people settled on the grounds of Don Bosco Shasha with Salesians providing food and shelter. Recently, the use of heavy weapons by Congolese loyalist forces has caused panic for those staying on the Salesian land. As a result, thousands of people are on the run again to unknown destinations.

Fear peaked on March 7, when rockets fired by Congolese loyalist forces stationed in the Salesian concession and its northern periphery reached Karuba, about 30 kilometers (about 18.6 miles) from the Salesian house, causing casualties among peaceful farmers in the area. The side from Karuba responded with artillery fire that fell in the Salesian concession.

According to reports from Jambo Vijana, a magazine published by youth from Salesian programs with the Eastern Delegation of Central Africa, this artillery fire resulted in the death of one person and wounded two.

At the time, 415 children and youth from Salesian schools and 23 teachers immediately fled Shasha. In addition, 250 sharecropper families and 20 plantation workers also dispersed. Further, 623 displaced families, nearly 5,000 people, hastily emptied their makeshift shelters on Salesian land. The nearest health facility is without medical staff. In all war zones, there is a massive exodus of people and fighting.

Those impacted by the war are also going to Don Bosco Ngangi in Goma, where some 28,000 people are seeking shelter on the center’s grounds. The hope is that the artillery fire will cease soon so people can go back to living their lives in Shasha.

Given the violence in the country does not seem to be deescalating, Salesians are working on a more long-term solution and are launching a project to provide people with more support. The goal is to provide more provisions and psychological support to the people, including education for minors.



ANS Photo (usage permissions and guidelines must be requested from ANS)

ANS – Democratic Republic of Congo – Salesians, direct and indirect traditional beneficiaries, and displaced people fleeing “Don Bosco Shasha”

Salesian Missions – Democratic Republic of the Congo

UNHCR – Democratic Republic of the Congo

*Any goods, services, or funds provided by Salesian Missions to programs located in this country were administered in compliance with applicable laws and regulations, including sanctions administered by the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control

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