DR Congo: Haut Uele District, Orientale Province Situation Report No. 7, 01-20 Jan 2009
- The number of displaced is estimated at more than 130 000, which corresponds to almost half of the population of Dungu territory.
- In addition to displacement, the main humanitarian concern in the current crisis is the protection of civilians. Access is a major challenge especially during the rainy season which renders most roads impassable.
Between January 2007 and 14 December 2008 - the beginning of UPDF operations against LRA in DRC, the LRA launched several incursions outside of Garamba National Park in DRC, CAR and in South Sudan. According to Human Rights Watch, 790 civilians were killed and 47 wounded by LRA since 17 September 2008; the period between 24 December 2008 and 13 January 2009 was particularly lethal with 620 reported deaths. Between December 2007 and 17 January 2009, OCHA registered 896 persons killed and 711 civilians abducted, 540 of the abducted were children and 171 adults. 150 of these abductions were perpetrated outside of the Haut-Uele district during March 2008: 80 adults in CAR, 47 adults and 23 children in South Sudan. One person was killed in Bas-Uele in January 2009.
The following events were reported between 1 and 20 January 2009:
- Attacks in 19 localities in Haut-Uele district, resulting in 269 deaths (please see map attached for further details);
- LRA movements towards Bas-Uele;
- Attack of an LRA base in Bokoyo by UPDF;
- High tension in Dungu and several other attacked localities due to rumors on the presents of LRA elements amongst the population. Two main indicators of this fear:
1. The Civil Society of Dungu launched a sensitisation campaign asking the population to stay away from isolated areas and to regroup at the center of the village, since experience shows that LRA does not attack villages in which the population is concentrated.
2. Creation of self-defense groups, notably in Durba and Watsa, where check-points were established.
Deployment of military in Haut-Uele: According to a FARDC commander in Dungu, the armed forces continue to deploy its troops throughout the district. The Ugandan army (UPDF), re-initiated deployments, after an initial halt on 20 December, following the attacks on 25 December in Faradje.
Visit to Dungu by Vice-Governor Orientale Province: The Vice-Governor of Orientale Province, M. Joseph Bangakya, accompanied by the provincial health and social affairs minister, announced on 7 January in Dungu that the national and provincial authorities were very concerned about the situation in Dungu. He further expressed his compassion for the killings perpetrated by the LRA in Haut-Uele. The Vice- Governor indicated that the government would change its security strategy in this part of the country. Civil society organizations demanded a rapid and total securitization of the reception sites in Dungu, Bangadi and Doruma and the resumption of classes in schools.
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit http://unocha.org/.