Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Home safe and sound! The older I get, the more I hate flying. Oh for the days when I looked forward to flights and was excited by the food (no matter what it was!), the movies (never mind how bad!) and the whole airborne experience. For the first time in I can't remember how long, we travelled unharrassed at border points of entry, and were even upgraded spontaneously (legroom!). More anon.

Dispatches, the quarterly news from Medecins Sans Frontieres, has arrived. In relation to my recent posting on Hochschild's KING LEOPOLD'S GHOST and the Congo, they have a somewhat wrenching update:

"The ongoing violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) continues to force people out of their homes and increase their vulnerability to disease, malnutrition and mental trauma in areas where emergency relief is almost entirely absent. In Katanga, people are still trapped between Rwandan-supported RCD-Goma forces, the Congolese Government army, and Mai-Mai militias. Where MSF is working, providing medical care, shelter, water and sanitation, we saw a total of 92,000 people displaced last year. In the last three months alone, 15,000 have taken refuge around the shores of Lake Upembe. MSF is concerned about the many people who may still be trapped in the bush, too frightened to move. The number of children under five in MSF therapeutic feeding centres continues to rise. In Mukubu, MSF has admitted between 15-20 severely malnourished children each week for the last six months. There has also been a cholera outbreak and MSF has set up two treatment centres in Mangui and Kikondja.
In North Kivu, renewed fighting has caused the temporary evacuation of MSF teams and led to 80,000 people being displaced either within the region or across the border as refugees in Uganda."


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