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UNHCR Weekly Emergency Update - Ituri and North Kivu Provinces, Democratic Republic of the Congo - 22 - 29 August 2019

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Operational context and protection situation

Ituri Province

The situation is worsening in Ituri with new assaults carried out by the ADF, adding to the existing armed clashes in Djugu Territory. Attacks and killings targeting civilians continued, with an incursion from the ADF into the Boga Mission area recorded on August 23, resulting in the abduction of more than 100 civilians, two men wounded, and looting of properties. Fearing for their safety, around 150 households from Boga Mission, Budundu and Boga Center fled to Mitego. They have now already returned to their villages. On 26 August, unidentified gunmen raided the town of Bukachele (Djugu Province), beheading a 7-year-old boy and stealing livestock, money and other items. UNHCR’s partner INTERSOS recorded 258 protection incidents, out of which 162 in Irumu territory (Ituri Province). This is still not an exhaustive depiction of the protection situation due to access constraints. The recurrent clashes between the FARDC and the different armed groups (including the ADF but not exclusively) result in a deep fear within the displaced population.
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. Masisi Territory is particularly affected. Continued attacks against civilians and protection actors triggered new displacements In Beni Territory, armed groups intensified their attacks against civilians and Government forces, rendering access to persons of concern increasingly challenging. Several deadly attacks on civilians and incursions were reported. Protests took place in Beni, Butembo, and Oicha in response to recent attacks by armed groups on civilians.
The Nobili Crisis Committee recorded 6,329 displaced households between June 10th and August 10th, 2019, in addition to the 15,991 households previously recorded by NRC and WHH. Other territories (Rutshuru) also witnessed killings over the past two weeks. In Rushaki (Rutshuru), crimes, mainly under the form of kidnappings, continue to occur.
On 26 August, about 20 kilometres northwest of Goma, North Kivu Province, a convoy of three UNICEF vehicles was shot at by unknown assailants. No causalities have been reported. The continuous, almost province-wide deterioration of the security situation since the second half of July is severely affecting humanitarian access.
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.