DR Congo

DR Congo: UN is considering relocating the refugee camp for 60,000 people at Kibati

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UN is considering relocating the refugee camp for 60,000 people at Kibati, ten kilometres north of Goma. The announcement was made by the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the Democratic Republic of Congo. Ms Leila Zerrougui, speaking after a visit to the camp, said it was being planned to avoid refugees being caught up in fighting between armed groups for a second time.

Ms Zerrougui said this plan was always a possibility. "There's a real chance the conflict could break out again, otherwise we would not think of moving 60,000 or 70,000 people like that, without good reason.

We are aware of the environment, the evolution of the situation and how it could develop. We have already set up what's required for the refugees but that does not mean sending them back home.

That's not MONUC's role and the humanitarian aid agencies won't agree to that. We want to move them to another camp we will arrrange for them so they're not caught up in fighting. But all of that is under review.

I've also been told that some soldiers from the FARDC who came in the camp and who sometimes threaten the refugees to steal from them. I've given instructions for security measures to be taken by our soldiers to ensure that FARDC soldiers don't return to or have access to the camp.