Russia + 2 more

IDP News Alert, 6 September 2013

Russian Federation: Floods in the Far East cause large-scale displacement

Russia is experiencing the worst floods in over a century. According to a Ministry of Emergency Situations report, heavy rains caused the evacuation of 19,820 people from the Jewish Autonomous region and Khabarovsk territory. Despite this, some media reports claim the number could be as high as 30'000,

Evacuees have been living in 57 temporary shelters, in unspecified locations. Some are reported to be sheltering in resorts and army barracks. Over 5,000 people are said to have returned to their homes.

Some experts say the situation could deteriorate further. While the water levels are receding in most of the Amur region, they are rising in Khabarovsk, home to over half-a-million people. As a result, 36'000 more people will have to be evacuated.

The Russian government has started to compensate 30'000 affected citizens, and are discussing reconstruction plans for over a thousand homes that are now beyond repair.

For more information, see our page on Russian Federation

CAR: Children particularly affected by recent upsurge in violence

A recent upsurge in violence in the Central African Republic (CAR) has caused thousands of people to flee their homes in Bangui. Violent incidents in the capital have increased in the last two weeks, following Michel Djotodia being sworn in as president of the transition.

Since March 2013, the Séléka movement, a coalition of armed groups led by Michel Djotodia replaced the former regime led by Francois Bozizé. The new regime has struggled to ensure law and order and to protect civilians . Ongoing insecurity and human rights violations have forced as many as 280,000 people to flee their homes since March.

A recent report by the Global Protection Cluster revealed that around 140,000 children have been displaced since the regime change in March and 132,000 children have been separated from their parents or are now unaccompanied. In addition, 3,500 children are estimated to have been recruited by armed groups since March. The report also finds that sexual and gender based violence, including early and forced marriages, have increased since the coup.

This recent violence has been particularly intense in Bangui’s Boy-Rabe neighbourhood where the majority of the former regime’s supporters live. Those newly displaced have sought refuge with relatives or in churches and hospitals in other neighbourhoods of the capital. In addition, an estimated 5,000 people have taken refuge at the Bangui Internationalairport under the protection of peacekeeping forces.

For more information, visit our page on CAR

DRC : Fighting between government forces and M23 resume near Goma

On 21 August, heavy fighting between the armed group M23 and the Congolese army resumed near Goma in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). In the last few days the shelling of neighbourhoods in Goma and of Gyseni, in neighbouring Rwanda, has killed several civilians and placed the lives of others at risk. One shell also hit the Mugunga 3 IDP camp near Goma, which hosts around 14,000 IDPs.

The United Nations Peacekeeping Mission in Congo (MONUSCO) has also been targeted by attacks resulting in the death of one peacekeeper and several others being injured. The Intervention Brigade of MONUSCO has an unprecedented mandate for undertaking offensives against armed groups and is backing the DRC government forces against the M23.

This is the third round of fighting between M23 and the Congolese army since November 2012, when the armed group seized the city of Goma for more than a week. Around 140,000 people were displaced and many are still living in IDP camps and sites around Goma. The fighting in May and July 2013 displaced around 5,000 and 4,000 people to Goma and its surroundings respectively. It is as yet is unclear how many people were forced to flee the latest fighting as most of the inhabitants of the villages affected around Goma had already fled previously.

For more information, visit our page on DRC