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Refugees in DR Congo
Image: Reuters/J. Akena
Politics

1 million displaced in DR Congo over 6 months

July 3, 2020

The UNHCR recorded events of killing, mutilation, sexual violence and looting in DR Congo in the last eight weeks. The African nation has one of the highest rates of internal displacement in the world.

https://p.dw.com/p/3eisl

Over one million people from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) have been forced to seek refuge in neighboring countries since the beginning of 2020, according to a report by the UN's refugee agency, the UNHCR.

The agency said that a total of 5 million people have so far been uprooted from DR Congo. According to the report, DR Congo has one of the highest rates of internal displacement in the world.

Earlier this week, Uganda temporarily reopened two border crossing points to take in 1,500 asylum-seekers from DR Congo.

The UNHCR said that it had recorded several events of killing, mutilation, sexual violence and looting in the country in the last eight weeks. "UNHCR and its partners have recorded multiple attacks by armed groups on displacement sites and villages", said the report.

The agency urged the authorities in DR Congo to "improve the security situation and hold the perpetrators accountable".

Brutal attacks, low funding

The UNHCR said that on June 17 and 18, five people in the Djugu Territory were beheaded with machetes and over 150 houses were set on fire by an armed group. On June 23, about 5,000 people were displaced from their homes in the North Kivu province due to fighting between two armed groups.

Displaced people in a refugee camp in the Ituri province of DR Congo
Displaced people in a refugee camp in the Ituri province of DR CongoImage: imago-images/Xinhua/A. Uyakani

The agency said that medical care provisions were getting affected by the attacks. It added that most assaults were conducted by armed groups and, allegedly, by the security services of DR Congo.

The UNHCR appealed for more funding for its DR Congo operations in its report. The agency has received just 21% of the budget required for its operations in DR Congo.

am/ng (AFP, Reuters)

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