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UNHCR Weekly Emergency Update - Ituri and North Kivu Provinces, Democratic Republic of the Congo - 23 – 30 September 2019

Situation Report
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Operational context and protection situation

Ituri Province

The reporting period was marked by armed clashes between the DRC army and armed groups in Mambasa, Djugu and Irumu territories. Overall, 131 protection incidents including killings, lootings, extortion of property, abductions, injuries, and rapes were reported mostly in Mambasa and Irumu territories. This week, there were no reported attacks on IDPs sites in Djugu Territory, due to intensified army patrolling. However a significant movement of alreadydisplaced people in Djugu continued towards IDP sites in the territory and in Bunia, Ituri’s provincial capital. Estimations of forced displacement linked to violence in Djugu Territory are of some 750-800 households. A first-of-its-kind meeting was held between a provincial government delegation and members of an armed group, heavily involved in the latest waves of violence in Djugu Territory. The armed group’s leader presented his requirements to lay down arms, which include amnesty and integration in the national army. In southern Irumu Territory, lootings perpetrated by presumed members of an armed group remained of concern. However, most elements are participating in a demilitarization programme led by the government, with MONUSCO’s support.

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. In June, 8,647 people fled to Uganda according to UNHCR’s Uganda office, nearly doubling the number of daily crossings compared to May 2019. UNHCR’s Protection Monitoring system documented 4,567 incidents between January and September in Ituri Province.

North Kivu Province

The protection situation in Lubero and Masisi territories remained of extreme concern during the week. Lubero was most affected by human rights violations committed against civilians, with 167 recorded cases, as a result of the army and armed groups clashing. An armed group attacked health facilities, kidnapping staff and looting supplies.
Displacements continued in the territory continued with over 305 households. The majority are women and children staying in host families, with staggering protection needs. In Masisi Territory, a national and a foreign armed group continued to affect civilians. In Rutshuru Territory, infighting between factions of an armed group caused fresh population movements. Armed conflict also continued in the northern part of Beni Territory between the army and an armed group, with at least 5 soldiers killed in 48 hours. Despite this, timid returns of IDPs to their areas of origin were observed around Nobili, even though these movements may be cyclical. The Ebola epidemic’s epicenter is in Mambasa Health Zone near Beni, with four new cases recorded between 16 and 22 September.

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. By 24 June 94,612 displaced people (15,991 households) had been registered in Nobili and 9 surrounding localities, but displacements have since continued: the Nobili crisis committee recorded 6,329 newly-displaced households between June and August. 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 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. UNHCR’s Protection Monitoring system documented 7,813 protection incidents between January and September 2019 throughout the Province.