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Cross-border displacements: Spill-over from the crises in eastern DRC

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Update on the regional implications of humanitarian developments in North Kivu and Ituri 4 November 2008

FLASH-POINT NORTH KIVU

The upsurge in hostilities from late August to early November 2008 in North Kivu Province in eastern Dem. Rep. of the Congo (DRC), mainly between Government forces (FARDC) and the Tutsi rebel group CNDP, have triggered displacement of some 230,000 people (OCHA) which add to an existing IDP population of estimated 800,000 in the province from previous hostilities. Many of those newly displaced were already IDPs, others have been uprooted from their local communities.

Recent weeks have been increasingly difficult for providers of humanitarian assistance in North Kivu but early this week a UN aid convoy dispatched from Goma reached Rutshuru, one of the towns now under CNDP control. The convoy was escorted by UN peacekeepers and carried health supplies to local health centers.

Meanwhile, armed actors have been circulating at two IDP camps located some 10 km north of Goma and the camps have been largely deserted in a panic by its residents. Camps in the town of Rutshuru have been found almost empty of their residents, and many shelters burned to the ground. It remains unclear where the camp residents have gone.

Roughly half of the newly displaced are in managed camps or spontaneous IDP sites inside the province with a high concentration of camps around the provincial capital, Goma. Others are hosted in local communities mainly in Rutshuru, Masisi and south Lubero territories. Tens of thousands are still on the move in search of safety and several thousand have sought refuge in mainly Uganda but also in Rwanda.

North Kivu -Uganda

Population movement: Approximately 9,500 Congolese have entered Uganda since the beginning of August 2008 (UNHCR Uganda). Of these, an estimated 3,500 people have arrived in southwestern Uganda in the past week alone, with 2,500 individuals received in Kisoro District and 1,000 in Kanungu District (Ishasha). Some 3,000 of the new arrivals have been relocated to Nakivale refugee settlement in Isingiro District, while 6,500 are being hosted in 12 villages in Kisoro District, along the DRC border.

Response: UNHCR, with support from UNICEF and WFP, and the Uganda Red Cross Society are responding to the situation. MSF and Save the Children also have teams in or en route to the area. UNHCR is providing transport to the settlement and has established a presence in Kisoro to facilitate monitoring of and response to the situation. World Food Programme Uganda is pre-positioning 500 tons of food - enough to feed 30,000 people for a month - at key spots along their likely path.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.