DR Congo

OCHA: Two million internally displaced persons in DRC

Kinshasa, 5 August 2009 - The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)'s report on Internally Displaced People (IDPs) issued on Monday 3 August 2009 estimates that there are two million IDPs in the Democratic Republic of Congo, despite a the three million that have returned home.

The situation has markedly deteriorated over the last few months, said OCHA, indicating that half of the IDPs live in South Kivu where their number was estimated at 536,000 as of June. In North Kivu, 350,000 persons were forced to leave their homes.

Some displacements, according to OCHA, were caused by the joint DRC-Rwanda operations against FDLR in February, while others were recently caused by the military operation Kimia II.

In the Haut and Bas Uélé districts in province Oriental where Ugandan LRA rebels are spreading terror among the population by committing atrocities such as killings, rape, and abduction, the number of displaced is estimated at 180,000 persons in Haut Uélé and 36,000 in Bas Uélé.

If the situation is disastrous according to aid workers, at the same time some people are returning home. In this regard, the report indicates that on 30 June 2009, over 3 million persons were able to return home.

In North Kivu alone where the situation was still catastrophic a few months ago, over 160,000 internally displaced persons returned home, notably in the zones previously occupied by the CNDP (Congrès National pour la Défense du Peuple). In South Kivu, a total of 780,010 persons returned home.

Ituri district in northeastern DRC is an excellent example of a successful peacekeeping mission for security is being progressively restored there thanks to the efforts of MONUC and its partners, where over two million displaced people have returned home.

Monitoring work was conducted by the Provincial Commissions for Population Movement in North Kivu, South Kivu and in the district of Ituri in Orientale Province to correlate these figures supplied by OCHA. The work was jointly conducted with the heads of provincial governments, local communities, UN agencies as well as national and international NGOs.