Peacekeepers Provide Escorts to Hundreds of Farmers in Dungu
Dungu, 21 March 2011 – For sometime now, insecurity in Dungu territory, Eastern province led farmers to give up their activities as it became impossible to venture even five kilometers from their villages without exposing themselves to attacks from armed gangs. But today that appears to be a thing of the past. This is because of the escorts that MONUSCO, the UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo, has been providing for the farmers.
Several times a week, Moroccan peacekeepers escort farmers from their villages to their farms and back home. Three communities within a 90-km radius from Dungu center, including Ngilima, Niangara and Duru, have so far been the beneficiaries of these escorts.
During each trip, MONUSCO deploys about 20 peacekeepers and four military trucks to escort groups as large as 30 farmers. While villagers are cultivating their land, peacekeepers keep guard on the outskirts of the fields and at the end of the day they escort them back to their villages.
Between January and February this year, 974 farmers were escorted. Currently, about 50 farmers are being escorted every week.
The population of Dungu has welcomed the new security system: "We are grateful to MONUSCO for the escorts provided to enable farmers to resume their activities and grow their own food, which by all means, will reduce dependency on humanitarian aid," said a member of the civil society in Dungu in expressing gratitude to the UN Mission.
Nana Rosine Ngangoue/ MONUSCO