Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) under attack

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16 february 2021

The UN Refugee Agency on alert for atrocities carried out by armed groups in eastern DRC.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) claims more than 2,000 civilians have been killed in the Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo in the past year. Violence is being perpetrated by several armed groups throughout DRC, with the most recent accident dating back to January 2021, when two men were killed and six others were seriously injured following an incursion into a camp for forcibly displaced people in Masisi Territory. The aforementioned armed groups have also been imposing a curfew in the area and visiting homes to force residents to make “security” payments.

UNHCR Spokesperson Babor Baloch stated that the “attacks by armed groups are carried out on the suspicion of collaboration with other groups or the Congolese security forces”,  therefore fearing that there might be an underground net of interests between armed groups and Congolese regular forces. In that regard, Mr. Baloch also stated: “While the Congolese army’s military operations against militia groups are more often successful than in the past, the armed forces do not have the capacity to maintain control of the areas they secure, thus leaving space for armed actors to reclaim those areas and to impose themselves on the local population”

UNHCR and the International Organization for Migration are working shoulder to shoulder to protect civilians while also closely watching over the situation through their on the ground partners.


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Author: Benedetta Spizzichino; Editor: Eleonora Gonnelli

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