5 October 2017

Burundi Refugees Stranded in Raging Congolese Combat

Kinshasa — INCESSANT clashes between armed groups and government forces in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have delayed the opening of a refugee camp to accommodate refugees fleeing equally-troubled Burundi. The conflict has displaced thousands of Congolese. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) said while a negative impact on the conduct of humanitarian activities was feared, a direct consequence of these clashes was the delay in opening the new Mulongwe refugee camp. Situated in Baraka in the South Kivu Province, the camp is expected to accommodate some 2 500 Burundian refugees and asylum-seekers who are currently in the vicinity of the UN base in Kamanyola. The area is where the Congolese army killed over 30 protesting refugees and injured about 100 others in late September. Elsewhere, the humanitarian situation in the Fizi territory, south of the province, is deteriorating as a result of clashes between the army and rebel groups. The territory has registered some 57 000 internally displaced people since July. "All these displaced persons are without assistance need financial capacity," a UN humanitarian spokesperson said. DRC is characterised by militancy, which has escalated since the failure by President Joespeh Kabila to cede power at the end of his mandate late 2016. Some 2 million people are displaced while thousands have fled mainly to Angola and Zambia.


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