Displacement & MigrationNews

Attacks By Armed Groups Displace 20,000 Civilians In Eastern DRC

The UN Refugee Agency is calling for urgent measures to protect civilians in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where a series of recent attacks by an armed group has displaced nearly 20,000 people in North Kivu province.

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) is calling for urgent assistance to support displaced persons in Democratic Republic of Congo due to consistent attacks by armed groups which have caused them to forcefully flee multiple times.

Armed groups have continued to devastate civilian lives despite DRC’s President, Felix Tshisekedi, launching a state of emergency on Thursday, May 6, 2021 in North Kivu and its neighbouring Ituri province. The declaration was meant to pause violence by armed groups and bring law and order in the region.

Since Tuesday, June 22, 2021, the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) are alleged to have brutally killed at least 14 persons and injured many others in and around the city of Beni. 

Several properties were looted, and others burnt to the ground. This was the first attack in two years by the ADF on the city, and the group’s resurgence is terrorising the lives of inhabitants.

There is panic and anxiety among the community, coupled up with lack of confidence in security forces given the high expectations of improved security conditions following the new measures. 

These recent brutal attacks have forced thousands of people to flee their homes to seek safety in the eastern part of Beni, and are continuing to weaken and disrupt social, economic and educational activities.

Despite best efforts, the humanitarian response in parts of DRC is becoming worrisome and has been impacted by continuous multiple emergencies including the after-effects of the volcanic eruption of Mount Nyiragongo in Goma on Saturday, May 22, 2021.

Nearly two million people have been removed by insecurity and violence in North Kivu province over the past two years.

UNHCR and its partners are supporting local authorities to register displaced families and assess and respond to their needs. Despite devastating conditions, some of the displaced are gradually returning to their hometown.

More than 100,000 displaced people were assisted with emergency shelters in 2020 and almost 14,000 so far in 2021 but needs remain high as attacks by armed groups continue to displace people in the province, with many forced to flee multiple times. Women and children with particularly acute needs are being assisted with shelter, relief items and cash assistance.

UNHCR continues to support local communities as important first responders to recurrent forced displacement. UNHCR partners are doing the vital work of documenting human rights violations.

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