Democratic Republic of Congo: Indigenous organizations call for humanitarian assistance for displaced Batwa people
We, organizations of indigenous Batwa people and those who accompany them, regret to note the following:
- Large-scale displacement of indigenous Batwa across the entire province of North Kivu due to numerous conflicts that occur. Therefore, they are the primary innocent victims;
- Indigenous Batwa people do not have access to, or have difficulty accessing, emergency humanitarian aid in IDP (internally displaced persons) camps due to discrimination and marginalization.
- In the case of severe diseases they do not have access to health care. Consequently, numerous deaths are recorded in IDP camps of Batwa and host families;
On the occasion of the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, a dialogue on the implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was held in Goma’s Hotel La Joie Plazza. Forty participants took part in this dialogue including delegates from Indigenous Batwa Community, delegates from the provincial government, agencies of the United Nations system, international development organizations, civil society and journalists.
Given the above, we ask urgently:
- To the Government of the DRC:
To implement specific measures to protect indigenous Batwa people during and after crisis in the IDP camps and sites;
- To the international community and international humanitarian organizations:
To provide urgent/emergency humanitarian assistance (food, non-food and medicines) to displaced indigenous Batwa people, innocent victims of conflicts, living in IDP camps and with host families to avoid the worst. This in light of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (Articles 41 & 42).
Goma, 09/08/2012 (International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples)
FDAPID, ECO-ACTION, ADPD, PIDP, SODI
Photo: Batwa people in the Democratic Republic of Congo/The Advocacy Project.