Democratic Republic of the Congo - Emergency update on the Burundian refugee situation in South Kivu (August 2017)
As of 31st August, there were 40,047 Burundian refugees and asylum seekers who arrived since April 2015. Refugee status determination by the National Commission for Refugees (CNR) resumed on August 17th, after having been suspended for almost two months. Since then, 335 refugees were registered, while 2,442 were still asylum seekers and waited for registration.
In the new site of Mulongwe (near Baraka, Fizi territory), works were ongoing with two operational partners (MEDEOR and CARITAS) working with their own funds. However, works have slowed down due to the worsening security situation in Fizi territory, mainly caused by activities of Mai-Mai armed groups.
On 24th August, the Assistant High Commissioner in charge of Operations, on mission in DRC, visited Lusenda camp to meet refugees and aid workers. He observed nevertheless the difficult situation of overcrowding and the persistent gaps namely in the education sector.
Cholera epidemics was declared in the territories of Fizi and Uvira. No cases have been reported so far in refugees hosting structures. Preventive measures were put in place.
On the 8th of August, opposition movements declared a town shutdown (“Ville Morte”) in Uvira. The UNHCR operations were paralysed for a day without any security incidents.
The territory of Fizi has been affected by the confrontations between the FARDC and an armed group, the Mai-Mai Yakutumba. These confrontations provoked movement of population in Kikonde and Kasandjala areas (both internal displacement and movement to Burundi). As a result, the road between Baraka and Fizi is classified as “red” by the UN security department (UNDSS) and therefore affecting UNHCR activities, as a military escort is needed for any movement.