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UNHCR Weekly Emergency Update - Ituri and North Kivu Provinces, Democratic Republic of the Congo (24-30 June 2019)

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Operational context and protection situation

Ituri Province

Armed violence and mass displacements are ongoing in many part of Ituri where humanitarian access remains extremely limited as a result of armed conflict. A first inter-agency (OCHA, WFP, UNHCR, UNICEF) evaluation mission took place in some of the affected areas in the territory of Djugu between 26 and 29 June. The DRC’s Resident / Humanitarian Coordinator and OCHA’s country director visited Ituri on 24 and 25 June, requesting UNHCR’s involvement in protection, shelter, and site management/coordination. On 30 June, the President of the Republic of the DRC also visited Djugu to take stock of the situation and discuss with provincial officials and the security forces. In the provincial capital of Bunia, the population of the two existing Internally Displaced People’s (IDP) sites has more than doubled in two weeks and a new site is under development. Outside of Bunia, the largest concentration of IDPs appear to be in Drodro, in Rho where a spontaneous site of some 18,000 people has formed next to a MONUSCO base, and in Kasenyi and Tchomia, on the shore of Lake Albert.

BACKGROUND: Since 6 June, a flare-up of generalized violence between the Lendu and Hema communities has led to massive new displacements in Ituri province. UNHCR and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) recorded over 110,000 new arrivals in Internally Displaced People’s (IDP) sites in Djugu, Mahagi and Irumu territories between 31 May and 20 June. In addition, over tens of thousands of people are staying with host communities; however, with little access to many affected areas, uncertainty persists around these figures. 7,500 people have so far fled to Uganda according to UNHCR’s Uganda office, mostly by crossing Lake Albert. Some of the affected areas of Ituri province are Ebola-hit.

North Kivu Province

IDP sites have so far not been subject to attacks, but nearby areas have been targeted by armed groups; the security situation in Nobili remains calm but unpredictable. Following the displacement of some 95,000 people to Nobili in the territory of Beni on the Ugandan border in May, there have been a series of smaller scale displacements in Beni territory. Almost all the displaced in and around Nobili now stay with host families. Humanitarian access remains a challenge given the area’s distance from Goma, and insecurity between Beni and Nobili (notwithstanding FARDC presence on certain roads). In the territory of Masisi, the situation continues to deteriorate, with attacks from irregular armed groups systematically targeting Rwandan refugees and causing large-scale displacement. The Ebola response has now moved its HQ to the town of Butembo, with new cases still reported daily 11 months after the start of the current outbreak in North Kivu.