UN: Displacement Camp Fire in Eastern Congo Leaves Dozens of Families Homeless

The United Nations has reported that a fire at a displacement camp in eastern Congo has left dozens of families without shelter after destroying around 50 makeshift tents. The fire, believed to have started during cooking, struck the Muganga camp near Goma, the provincial capital, on Wednesday.

This incident comes on the heels of bomb attacks that targeted the same camp in early May, resulting in at least 18 deaths and 32 injuries, primarily among women and children. The type of explosives used in those attacks remains unclear.

Anne Marie Nikuze, a 60-year-old displaced person living in the camp with her family, told The Associated Press that she was unable to save her most valuable possessions, including tokens for receiving humanitarian assistance while trying to evacuate her home.

Furaha Mulema Mariam, a 42-year-old mother of four, expressed her distress, stating, “We escaped the recent bomb attacks and now, it’s the fire that has struck us. The only luck is that it happened during the day, if it had been at night we would all be dead.”

The long-standing conflict in eastern Congo has created one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises, with over 100 armed groups fighting in the region, primarily for land and control of valuable mineral mines. Many groups are accused of committing mass killings, rapes, and other human rights violations.

The violence has displaced approximately 7 million people, with thousands living in temporary camps like the one recently affected by the fire and bomb attacks. Many others remain beyond the reach of humanitarian aid.