Democratic Republic of Congo: TSF deployed within the framework of the partnership with UNICEF and OCHA

August 16, 2006


Megan Rabbitt

On 16th of August, two telecommunication engineers were deployed and arrived in Kinshasa from the regional base of Bangkok and France, respectively, within the framework of the partnership between TSF/UNICEF/OCHA. The UN agency UNICEF, responsible for the telecommunication cluster, has solicited the support of Télécoms Sans Frontières to provide emergency telecommunication services in Mitwaba, in the Katanga region in DRC.

This region has been affected by violent riots caused by rebels against the current government. The population fled the region, which brought a massive migration.

Three months ago, the disarmament took place. While humanitarian operations were at this time impossible in this region, access is now possible for humanitarian agencies. The previously displaced population is returning to their villages of origin. In order to cover the urgent needs faced by this wave of displaced people, UNICEF has set up an office in the city of Mitwaba.

TSF will set up its office at the beginning of next week in the city Mitwaba where the GSM network is inoperative and Internet access non-existent. With only one radio repeater active within the region there is no possibility for communication outside of the region.

TSF will open firstly a telecoms centre with Internet access via a BGAN terminal, and telephone lines via MiniM satellite phones to respond to the United Nations’ needs in telecommunication, within the framework of the telecommunications cluster.

The duration of the mission is estimated at 1 month.

This mission is effectuated in partnership with UNICEF and OCHA and funded by the Vodafone Group Foundation and the United Nations Foundation.

More about TSF

Télécoms Sans Frontières: the leading humanitarian NGO specialised in emergency telecommunications.

With its 24-hour monitoring centre and relying on its operational bases in Nicaragua and in Thailand, TSF logistics workers and technical aid crews can intervene anywhere in the world less than 24 hours after any catastrophe or a conflict and in a matter of minutes set up an operational centre on site.
This centre enables aid work to be coordinated and offers support and assistance to victim populations, giving them a link with the outside world from which they would be otherwise completely cut off.

In 2005, TSF deployed in 10 countries to the benefit of over 50 000 people and more than 250 NGO and UN agencies.

TSF is equally engaged in putting its expertise in telecommunications and experience at the service of long term solidarity projects and thus contribute to reducing the gap in sharing the world’s numeric resources.

Télécoms Sans Frontières is a working group member of the United Nations emergency telecoms body (WGET). We are also partners of the European Community Humanitarian Office (ECHO) and a member of the International Council of Voluntary Agencies (ICVA).

For further information, please contact us at our French headquarters numbers above or at the following mobile number +33 6 67 35 62 45. We will be only too pleased to hear from you.

For more information about this project, please contact Amy DiElsi at 202-419-3230 or To learn more about Télécoms Sans Frontières, visit; for the Vodafone Group Foundation, visit