The disputed results of the November 28 presidential election, released on December 9, led to scattered protests in several parts of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Clashes between demonstrators and security forces—primarily in Kinshasa and the eastern provinces of North Kivu, South Kivu, and Orientale— resulted in at least 18 deaths and more than 100 injuries, according to international media sources. As of January 18, the situation remained stable and humanitarian agencies had identified no humanitarian needs related to post-election violence. USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) staff in Kinshasa continue to monitor the situation in coordination with USAID/OFDA implementing partners in the DRC, as well as the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (State/PRM), USAID/DRC, and Embassy Kinshasa.
Displaced populations continued to return to areas of origin in South Kivu Province despite ongoing security concerns that predate the recent election. The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) credits the high number of returns to the redeployment of Armed Forces of the DRC (FARDC) soldiers to the area.
In Walikale Territory, North Kivu Province, the number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) has increased by an estimated 23,000 persons due to increased fighting between local improvised self-defense groups, Rwandan opposition groups, and other armed groups seeking control of mineral-rich zones.
The Government of DRC’s recent reorganization of FARDC troops—fragmenting existing units to improve integration of former opposition combatants into the army—has allowed non-FARDC opposition groups along the eastern border to target communities, resulting in increased insecurity and displacement.
USAID/OFDA continues to respond to urgent humanitarian needs across the DRC, committing approximately $2.3 million to date in FY 2012 for humanitarian activities. In FY 2011, USAID provided more than $71 million to support conflict-affected populations in the DRC, and ongoing programs in agriculture and food security, economic recovery and market systems (ERMS), health, nutrition, and protection continue to address humanitarian needs. USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (USAID/FFP) continues to address emergency food needs among DRC populations, contributing approximately $17.5 million to provide more than 9,000 metric tons (MT) of emergency food assistance in the DRC to date in FY 2012. In addition, State/PRM has provided $9 million to the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to date in FY 2012 for protection, refugee return and reintegration, and IDP and refugee support activities in the DRC.