The international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) provided care to 674 victims of sexual violence in the last two weeks of April in camps for displaced people around Goma, the capital of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) North Kivu province. This shocking number—approximately 48 people per day, mostly women—highlights the extreme risk of violence facing displaced people in the area.
Between April 17 and 30, 2023, MSF teams treated 314 victims of sexual violence in Bulengo, Lushagala, Kanyaruchinya, Eloime, and Munigi camps. And 360 in Rusayo—one of the newest and most densely populated camps, west of Goma. In Rusayo, Bulengo, and Kanyaruchinya, more than half of the survivors reported being attacked by armed men.
Almost all of the survivors treated by MSF were women, and the majority said they were attacked while searching for food or firewood outside of the displacement camps.
Clashes between the Congolese army, the M23 armed group, and other armed groups in North Kivu have forced more than one million people to flee their homes since March 2022. More than 600,000 have sought refuge in often overcrowded, unsanitary camps on the outskirts of Goma.