21 June 2012

Rwanda, Uganda Register New Congolese Arrivals

The spokesperson for United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), Adrian Edwards, has said that the violence in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo is continuing to cause people to flee to neighbouring countries with more refugees fleeing to neighborhoods of Rwanda and Uganda.

In a statement released at the press briefing from Palais des Nations in Geneva, switzland on June 12, 2012; Edwards stated that the clashes between the DR Congo government troops and renegade fighters in North Kivu since April has left more than 100,000 people displaced.

This includes those who have fled to Rwanda and south-west Uganda's Kisoro district. Since the start of the year, UNHCR has registered more than 22,000 Congolese refugees at the Nyakabande centre in Uganda, where they receive shelter and assistance.

In Rwanda, and to relieve congestion at the Nkamira Transit Centre, a new site has been opened at Kigeme in the country's south. On June 10, 2012, UNHCR transferred a first group of 141 refugees there, and a second group of 149 people was moved on Monday.

UNHCR officials said that refugees move to Kigeme will have access to local health services, and a health centre is likely to be created inside the camp to provide immediate treatment to the refugees. Refugee children will be able to attend schools run by the local diocese.

The Nkamira Transit Centre is also continuing to see new arrivals. 618 people registered there over the weekend, bringing the camp population to 12,549.

In southwest Uganda, we are seeing steady arrivals at the Nyakabande Transit Centre. Yesterday 205 people registered, and as of last night the registered population there stood at 9,053 people. Most of these new arrivals are people fleeing existing centres for internally displaced people in DRC itself. As in Rwanda we are seeking to move people elsewhere to decongest the transit camp.

The upheaval in the DR Congo has been mainly caused by the notorious rebel groups such as FDLR and M23- and the UN and ICC have called for the hunt down of the rebel groups so as to restore peace in the region, which has spent decades under tension.

The Rwanda government has received the fleeing Congolese refugees and most of them are happy to have a peaceful environment in Rwanda, but have also demanded that the Congolese government does something to restore peace so that they can return to their homeland and live a normal life.

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