The UN refugee agency UNHCR said it is "appalled by a series of deadly attacks" on displaced people in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), its spokesperson told journalists on Tuesday in Geneva.
In the latest incident carried out by armed groups, UNHCR spokesperson Boris Cheshirkov cited local authorities in saying that 26 people were killed on Sunday at Ndjala site in the Drodro health zone in Ituri province.
"Ten women and nine children were among the dead and 11 people were wounded. The attackers used guns, machetes and knives", he told journalists at the UN in Geneva.
Since 19 November, this is the fourth attack on IDPs in Ituri Province - host to 1.7 million displaced people.
UN Humanitarian Coordinator in the DRC David McLachlan-Karr expressed his anger, saying, "I am shocked, outraged and deeply saddened by these repeated attacks on civilians who are forced to leave their homes to seek safety from the violence".
"It is imperative to protect these populations. I reiterate that these women, men and children must be allowed to live in peace", he underscored.
The UN official reminded that the attacks are "violations of international humanitarian law and the 2009 Kampala Convention on IDPs".
"They must stop immediately. I don't want to count anymore the number of attacks that these vulnerable people are already enduring", he said.
Humanitarian aid is being deployed rapidly to assist them.
On 21 November, a militia group attacked Drodro, another site for displaced people, leaving 44 dead and over 1,200 shelters destroyed. They also attacked a site at Tche, wrecking almost 1,000 shelters, according to authorities.
As many as 20,000 inhabitants fled to Rhoe, seeking safety near the military base of the UN Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO), which doubled in size from 21,000 to 40,500 in under 48 hours - forcing the newly arrived families to sleep in the open.
The main needs are food, shelter, health care and psychosocial assistance. (ANI)