UNHCR appalled by deadly attacks on displaced people in DR Congo

Child playing with bike in refugee camp Child playing with bike in refugee camp Ahmed Akacha on Pexels

30 November 2021

UNHCR calls for support following the latest attack by armed groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)

Twenty-six people, including nine children, lost their lives in the latest attack carried out by armed groups in the Drodro health zone in Ituri province, according to UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) spokesperson Boris Cheshirkov. Other 11 people were wounded. The attackers used guns, machetes and knives. This is the fourth attack on internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Ituri province, which hosts 1.7 million of them. 

This follows an attack on 14 November, when an armed group raided a site for IDPs in South Kivu, killing six children and a pregnant woman. Eight others were wounded, and inhabitants fled with their shelters destroyed. Forty-four people died and more than 1,200 shelters were destroyed when a militia group attacked the Drodro site for IDPs on 21 November. Furthermore, an attack on a site at Tché destroyed almost 1,000 shelters. This led to up to 20,000 people fleeing to seek safety near the military base of the UN Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO), which almost doubled in size in under 48 hours, forcing some families to sleep in the open. 

Attacks are often accompanied by the theft of livestock, further deepening economic insecurity. UN Humanitarian Coordinator in the DRC David McLachlan-Karr noted that the attacks violate international humanitarian law and the 2009 Kampala Convention on IDPs.

In total, 5.6 million people in the DRC have had to flee their homes, an increase of 400,000 compared to the beginning of 2021. Most live among host communities, but more than 330,000 live in sheltered displacement sites. UNHCR is seeking further funding for its operations to support IDPs. Spokesperson Cheshirkov told journalists that the refugee agency received just 52% of the $204.8 million needed to support people of concern in the DRC.

 

To know more, please read:

https://news.un.org/en/story/2021/11/1106782

 

Author: Irina Kovacevic; Editor: Catherine Meunier

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