Operational context and protection situation
The protection of civilians remained of concern in Djugu Territory due to insecurity caused by unidentified armed men, and the presence of an armed group from North Kivu in Irumu Territory. Their presence disrupted commercial, agricultural and school activities. On 12 and 13 December, unidentified armed men attacked the villages of Mutanga and Kafe (Djugu Territory) killing 14 civilians and leading to the displacement of an estimated 65 households to the neighboring locality of Nyamamba, while some people from Kafe fled to Uganda. The resurgence of insecurity is affecting the return movement that has been observed in previous weeks in Djugu Territory; among those killed, seven had returned to their villages on 5 December from the Kasenyi displacement site. On the other hand, the security situation was relatively calm in the western part of Mambasa Territory, which can be explained by the reinforced presence of the national army and MONUSCO, mainly in the Biakato area. However, the presence of alleged members of the Mai Mai armed group was still visible.
BACKGROUND: Since 6 June 2019, 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 continued, Ituri’s Site Management and Coordination Working Group (CCCM) now estimates that almost 227,000 people are staying in 72 IDP sites, 12 of them coordinated by UNHCR, and housing over 82,000 individuals (17,000 households). Outside of Bunia, the largest concentrations of IDPs are found in Drodro, Rho, Fataki, Kasenyi, Tchomia and Ramogi, in Djugu, Irumu and Mahagi territories. Overall, some 1.1 million people are displaced throughout the Province according to OCHA. UNHCR’s Protection Monitoring system documented 6,970 human rights violations between January and November 2019 in Ituri Province.
North Kivu Province
The security and protection situation in Masisi Territory remained of concern this week. Elements from the national army raided displacement sites in Kibundi and Katale (Rutshuru Territory), were they looted IDPs’ goods in retaliation for displaced people’s alleged collaboration with armed groups. Meanwhile, military operations against armed groups were ongoing in Bwito Groupement (Rutshuru Territory). In Beni Territory, presumed elements of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) armed group continued to target civilians, at a lower scale than previous weeks. Following the storming of the townhall and of MONUSCO’s base in Beni town at the end of November, and subsequent evacuations of humanitarian staff, essential UNHCR staff are starting to be redeployed following a UNHCR safety assessment. Ongoing conflict in North Kivu led 2,130 households to flee their villages this week in Rutshuru and Masisi territories.