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UNHCR Weekly Emergency Update #17 - Ituri and North Kivu Provinces, Democratic Republic of the Congo - 22 October – 28 October 2019

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Operational context and protection situation

Ituri Province

Armed confrontations and attacks continued to endanger civilians during the reporting period, mostly in Irumu and Djugu territories. Most reported human rights violations were lootings (50), injuries (48), extortions (24) and sexual violence (12), with 201 incidents documented overall. Timid returns of some 452 IDP households to their areas of origin in Bahema North community were observed, due to a lull in fighting in this region of Djugu Territory. Voluntary movement restrictions by civilians, who fear the presence of armed men, were reported in localities close to Lake Albert, Djugu Territory.

BACKGROUND: Since 6 June, generalized violence led to massive new displacements in Ituri Province. UNHCR and IOM recorded over 110,000 new arrivals in IDP sites in Djugu, Mahagi and Irumu territories between 31 May and 20 June. OCHA estimated that 360,000 people were displaced by the recent crisis; some 145,000 towards IDP sites and the rest to host communities. As displacements have continued, Ituri’s Site Management and Coordination Working Group (CCCM) now estimates that almost 227,000 people are staying in 87 IDP sites. Outside of Bunia, the largest concentrations of IDPs are found in Drodro, Rho, Fataki, Kasenyi and Tchomia, in Djugu and Irumu territories. In Mahagi Territory, there is a large concentration of IDPs in Ramogi. Spontaneous returns of an estimated 1,575 people who had fled to Uganda were observed, but UNHCR is not able to establish exact numbers. UNHCR’s Protection Monitoring system documented 4,567 incidents between January and September 2019 in Ituri Province.

North Kivu Province

The situation in North Kivu remained of concern as conflicts and displacement continued. Between 11 and 17 October, 227 human rights violations were recorded by UNHCR’s Protection Monitoring, a figure comparable to the period prior. Violations mainly consisted of lootings, extortion, bodily harm and Sexual and Gender-Based Violence. Armed conflict intensified in Beni Territory, however the impact insecurity on civilians was most felt in Rutshuru and Masisi territories, which registered the highest numbers of violations (70 each). Around Nobili on the Ugandan border, returns of IDPs to the town of Kamango and its surroundings were still observed. Some 95,000 IDPs (out of an estimated total of 112,000) would now have returned according to OCHA, and face needs in their return areas. A DRC Humanitarian Fund allocation is planned to address their urgent needs in nutrition, health and protection.

BACKGROUND: Since 30 March, and with a sharp intensification as of 7 May, attacks against civilians and military outposts by members of a prominent armed group led to significant displacements from the town of Kamango towards the town of Nobili (Beni territory). By 24 June 94,612 displaced people (15,991 households) had been registered in Nobili and 9 surrounding localities, but displacements continued: the Nobili crisis committee recorded 6,329 newlydisplaced households between June and August. Until recently, OCHA put the estimated total number of IDPs in the area at around 112,000. In other territories of North Kivu, OCHA estimates that over 67,000 were displaced towards host communities in May and June alone, while arrival numbers into several IDP sites have been significant. During July, UNHCR and the National Refugee Commission (CNR) recorded 5,256 new IDPs (1,225 households) in 8 IDP sites in Masisi, with the most (2,754 persons) having arrived to Bukombo site. UNHCR’s Protection Monitoring system documented 7,813 protection incidents between January and September 2019 throughout the Province.