Central African refugee situation: Democratic Republic of the Congo - August 2017
■ Asylum seekers from Central African Republic continued to arrive in Bas-Uele and Nord Ubangi provinces. National Commission for Refugees and UNHCR estimated that around 64,000 new asylum seekers arrived between mid-May and August, while local authorities reported tens of thousands more arrivals in areas of difficult access. This new influx started mid-May and was triggered by violence, tensions and fear about imminent attacks in border areas.
■ DRC’s Vice Minister of Interior has informed the Assistant High Commissioner for Operations in a meeting in Kinshasa that DRC plans to grant prima facie refugee status to all asylum seekers who will arrive from CAR in DRC within a period of one year from now.
■ Between 5th and 8th August, UNHCR distributed through its partner ADSSE relief items to 9,754 individuals in Yakoma, Limasa and Satema localities (Nord-Ubangi province). 7,598 of them are new arrivals, while 2,156 are registered out-of-camp refugees. Other distributions of relief items are planned at the beginning of September in the localities of Ndu, Gbobo, Nganza, Yomba and Satema (Nord Ubangi and Bas Uele provinces).
New arrivals from CAR are mainly settled along the rivers Ubangi and Mbomou that marks the border between CAR and DRC. Access to these areas is extremely difficult, because of lack of infrastructures (most of the bridges are destroyed or missing) and in some cases because of the security situation. Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) militia and other armed groups are operating in Bas Uele province.
New clashes fighting and attacks by armed groups in some localities of Central African Republic situated at the border with DRC (Gambo, Bema, Satema) pushed civilians to cross the river and to flee into DRC.