Sitting outside the house of his relative in Kyegegwga district in western Uganda, Jean Pierre Baringo, 54, is among hundreds of villagers, who have fled from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to escape the wrath of militiamen attacking their villages frequently.
Luckily for him, he had relatives across the border and that is where he is now settled while waiting for normalcy back home.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Baringo said the world is not aware of the deteriorating law and order situation in the Congo, where rebel militiamen are killing people.
“If they knew exactly what is taking place, they would come to our aid and help our forces to get rid of the rebels and militiamen,” he said.
Over the past many weeks, many videos and photos of militiamen killing people have gone viral.
Earlier this month, suspected militiamen reportedly attacked a camp for internally displaced people in the eastern DRC, killing dozens of people, according to local sources and monitoring groups.
The Djugu area of the country, bordering Lake Albert and Uganda is witnessing bloody clashes between different ethnic communities. Experts believe that the region harbors more than 120 armed groups.
Commenting about the photos that went viral, Red Cross spokesperson in Uganda Irene Nakasita hoped that they may invite the attention of the world.
“This is what is happening in DRC and that is the reason people are fleeing. As a humanitarian I will tell you that the Uganda government has not closed borders,” she said, adding that since her organization wants to remain neutral, she will not name the groups involved in killings.
“We don’t take positions on anyone’s abilities or inability,” she added.
Global media not highlighting killings
Luc Pecos Kulihoshi Musikami, an official in charge of refugees in Organisations des Jeunes Solidaires du Congo-Kinshasa (Collective of Youth Solidarity Organizations in Congo-Kinshasa), complained that while international media is not highlighting killings in the region, the Congolese media does not have resources to cover the region.
Blaming the interests of countries that do not allow them to raise the issue of killings, he said many of them want to play safe as they are extracting minerals in the region.
Prominent journalist Ronnie Ssekandi, who works with some international outlets, said the photographs showing the killing of innocent people by rebels should be given space by the global media to shake world conscience.
Another senior journalist, Henry Waswa, who has been covering wars and atrocities in the Congo and South Sudan for over two decades, said that lack of adequate resources has made it difficult for journalists to travel to affected areas and cover the atrocities heaped on common people.
“It seems the world does not know exactly what is happening in DR Congo. We are talking of people in need. Helping the needy does not need the donor to be rich. Helping people fleeing from war is a noble undertaking,” he said.
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