UNHCR Weekly Emergency Update - Ituri and North Kivu Provinces, Democratic Republic of the Congo - 8 October – 14 October 2019
Operational context and protection situation
During the reporting period, armed confrontations and attacks continued to endanger civilians, mostly in Mambasa and Djugu territories. In Djugu, the upsurge in violence was observed after a period of relative lull in fighting, and despite recent timid steps toward reconciliation. Most reported human rights violations were lootings (69 cases), arson (24), injuries (19), and sexual violence (13), with 199 incidents documented overall. Armed clashes between the army and presumed elements of a prominent armed group took place in Kasoko, along an essential axis for Ebola Emergency Response Teams, in Mambasa Territory. Estimations of recent displacement caused by these clashes are of some 229 households from Kasoko and neighboring Mbopi, towards relatively calmer areas in Mambasa Territory. At the same time, IDPs in inaccessible areas of Djugu Territory face staggering humanitarian needs related to sexual and genderbased violence, child protection, education and health. Reports of sexual violence, torture and arbitrary arrests were attributed to unidentified gunmen and to alleged elements of state armed forces.
BACKGROUND: Since 6 June, generalized violence has 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 (215,000) in 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, according to partner INTERSOS, 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 security and protection situation in North Kivu remained of concern. In Rutshuru Territory, the proportion of human rights violations committed by state armed forces against civilians has further increased compared to recent weeks. Province-wide, 60% of the 125 violations recorded were perpetrated by army elements. Clashes between rival armed groups continued in Masisi and Rutshuru territories, displacing at least 776 households (4,464 individuals), most of whom are staying in schools and churches, and are in need of urgent multi-sectoral assistance. Some 20,000 recent IDPs are also staying in the town of Oicha (Beni) in precarious conditions, some sleeping in schools and most lacking access to water and sanitation. In the Nobili area on the Ugandan border, returns of IDPs to the town of Kamango continued to be reported, with an estimated 4,570 returned. The President of the DRC visited Beni on 10 October, highlighting the fight against armed groups and Ebola as priorities.
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. The exact number of IDPs currently in Nobili is not known, but the return of some 4,500 IDPs was observed. In host communities in other territories of North Kivu, OCHA estimates that over 67,000 were displaced in May and June, 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.