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UNHCR Weekly Emergency Update - Ituri and North Kivu Provinces, Democratic Republic of the Congo - 19 - 25 November 2019

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Operational context and protection situation

Ituri Province: The security and protection environment in Ituri deteriorated during the reporting week, due to increased armed group activity, especially in Djugu, Irumu and Mambasa territories. Civilians suffered human rights violations, notably lootings, injuries and extortions committed by presumed elements of the national army, armed groups, and unidentified armed men. Sexual and Gender-Based Violence committed against minors remain of serious concern, representing 93% of rape cases this week. Some 387 individuals (67 households) are estimated to have been displaced due to recurrent clashes between the national army and unidentified armed men in Pimbo, Djugu Territory. Recently displaced households sought refuge in neighboring areas and in the woods. Unidentified armed men continue to threaten the protection environment on the shores of Lake Albert in Djugu Territory. Fishermen reported being illegally taxed, and people reported voluntary restrictions of movements in the area. In southern Irumu Territory, lootings perpetrated by presumed members of an armed group are preoccupying. Presumed elements of same armed group attacked the national police force and military positions in Mandumbi, Mambasa Territory. Subsequently, an estimated 332 individuals (55 households) were displaced to neighboring localities.

BACKGROUND: Since 6 June, generalized violence 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 to host communities. As displacements continued, Ituri’s Site Management and Coordination Working Group (CCCM) now estimates that almost 227,000 people are staying in 72 IDP sites. Outside Bunia, the largest concentrations of IDPs are found in Drodro, Rho, Fataki, Kasenyi, Tchomia and Ramogi, in Djugu, Irumu and Mahagi territories. An estimated 1,575 people who fled to Uganda are reported to have returned, but UNHCR is not able to establish the exact numbers. UNHCR’s Protection Monitoring system documented 5,530 human rights violations between January and October 2019 in Ituri Province.