UNHCR Weekly Emergency Update - Ituri and North Kivu Provinces, Democratic Republic of the Congo - 6 – 13 September 2019
Operational context and protection situation
During the reporting period, armed violence and insecurity escalated: there was a 40% increase the number of incidents reported, in comparison to the previous week. Killings (9), lootings, abductions of children and of displaced people (40), and rapes of women and young girls (10), were perpetrated by armed groups and non-identified armed men in Djugu, Mambasa, and Mahagi territories.
Criminal activities by an armed group have intensified in Mambasa Territory. On 9 September, a member of the army (FARDC) was killed in a presumed armed group attack in the village of Baiti.
In Djugu Territory, incursions in Nioka and Lokpa localities led to the displacement of 2,160 people towards host communities and sites near Drodro and Rho. A military position was attacked by non-identified men in the village of Djukri. Six people (including four children) were killed and 13 were injured during an attack by non-identified assailants in an IDP settlement in the village of Luko, in Bahema Badjere Chiefdom. Two people were decapitated, and 26 abducted in an armed incursion in the village of Lokpa.
Ongoing violence increases the vulnerability of displaced populations who are seeking refuge in churches, schools, and hiding in the bush for several days. The lack of functioning health infrastructures in areas of displacement poses serious public health risks for the communities.
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 now estimates that 360,000 people were displaced by the recent crisis; some 145,000 towards IDP sites and the rest (215,000) in host communities. 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. In June, 8,647 people also fled to Uganda according to UNHCR’s Uganda office, nearly doubling the number of daily crossings compared to May 2019.
North Kivu Province
Overall, the security situation in North Kivu remains extremely volatile and unpredictable. Sporadic clashes between the army (FARDC) and armed groups continue in the interior of Petit Nord, especially in Rutshuru and Masisi territories.
Armed clashes between the army and a presumed milita in villages in Lubero Territory has led to the mass forced displacement of 11,896 people. The majority are women and children who are staying in host families, and are facing staggering protection needs. School activities are paralysed due to ongoing violence in Rutshuru and Lubero territories.
Armed groups continue to target civilians and protection actors, while Rwandan refugees living in the territory are also targeted. The current epicenter of the Ebola epidemic is once again in Beni. In Beni Territory, intensified militia presence and criminal activities in Beni town and surrounding areas continue, negatively impacting the population.
BACKGROUND: Since 30 March, and with a sharp intensification as of 7 May, attacks against civilians and military outposts by members of rebel group Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), led to significant displacements from the town of Kamango towards the town of Nobili (Beni Territory), near the DRC border with Uganda. As of 24 June, 94,612 displaced people (15,991 households) had been registered in Nobili and 9 surrounding localities, but displacements continue. In host communities OCHA estimates that over 67,000 were newly displaced in May and June, while arrival numbers into several IDP sites have been significant. During July alone, 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. In Masisi the security situation has deteriorated sharply since the beginning of the year, with 1,960 protection incidents, including 90 murders, recorded by UNHCR between January and July 2019.