• Text size Normal size text | Increase text size by 10% | Increase text size by 20% | Increase text size by 30%

UNHCR warns of urgent need for sites to host DRC refugees in ROC and CAR

Briefing Notes, 12 January 2010

This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Andrej Mahecic to whom quoted text may be attributed at the press briefing, on 12 January 2010, at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

More than 107,000 Congolese refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have now fled to the Republic of Congo (ROC) since early November. Another 17,000 refugees have crossed into the Central African Republic (CAR). In CAR we estimate that at least 60 per cent are children, many of whom fled from orphanages.

They fled from the Equateur province of north-west DRC after fighting started in late October when Enyele militiamen launched deadly assaults on ethnic Munzayas over fishing and farming rights in the Dongo area. The tensions have since expanded to most parts of Equateur province. The DRC army has launched an offensive against the Enyele militia.

There is an acute need for formal refugee sites to be established in both CAR and ROC, as the majority of the DRC refugees occupy public buildings and spaces. This massive influx is severely stretching the meager resources of this impoverished region, which could lead to tensions with the local community. In Mougoumba in CAR the refugees outnumber the locals by 200 to one, while the Likouala region of northern ROC has seen its population double with the arrival of 107,000 refugees.

Although land has been allocated to accommodate 4,000 refugees in ROC, more space needs to be designated for refugee sites and discussions are ongoing with both ROC and CAR governments. Meanwhile UNHCR has sent emergency staff to support the widely dispersed refugee communities in this region.

• DONATE NOW •

 

• GET INVOLVED • • STAY INFORMED •

Central African Republic: Urgent Appeal

You can help save the lives of thousands of refugees

Donate to this crisis

DR Congo Crisis: Urgent Appeal

Intense fighting has forced more than 64,000 Congolese to flee the country in recent months.

Donate to this crisis

Congolese Refugees flee to Rwanda

In the first ten days of May 2012, more than 6,500 refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo crossed into Rwanda, fleeing fighting between the Congolese army and renegade soldiers. UNHCR and its UN partners worked with the Rwandan government to provide the refugees with humanitarian assistance in the early stages of the crisis, and to find solutions until it is safe for them to return.

Some of the refugees walked for days before reaching the Goma-Gisenyi border crossing between Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda. They came with their belongings, including mattresses, clothing, perhaps a few toys for the children. The images are from the border and from the Nkamira Transit Centre, located 22 kilometres inside Rwanda. Accommodation at Nkamira is poor: the centre can only host up to 5,400 individuals. It is only temporary shelter, but numbers continue to swell as hundreds cross the border every day.

Congolese Refugees flee to Rwanda

Crisis in the Central African Republic

Little has been reported about the humanitarian crisis in the northern part of the Central African Republic (CAR), where at least 295,000 people have been forced out of their homes since mid-2005. An estimated 197,000 are internally displaced, while 98,000 have fled to Chad, Cameroon or Sudan. They are the victims of fighting between rebel groups and government forces.

Many of the internally displaced live in the bush close to their villages. They build shelters from hay, grow vegetables and even start bush schools for their children. But access to clean water and health care remains a huge problem. Many children suffer from diarrhoea and malaria but their parents are too scared to take them to hospitals or clinics for treatment.

Cattle herders in northern CAR are menaced by the zaraguina, bandits who kidnap children for ransom. The villagers must sell off their livestock to pay.

Posted on 21 February 2008

Crisis in the Central African Republic

UNHCR/Partners Bring Aid to North Kivu

As a massive food distribution gets underway in six UNHCR-run camps for tens of thousands of internally displaced Congolese in North Kivu, the UN refugee agency continues to hand out desperately needed shelter and household items.

A four-truck UNHCR convoy carrying 33 tonnes of various aid items, including plastic sheeting, blankets, kitchen sets and jerry cans crossed Wednesday from Rwanda into Goma, the capital of the conflict-hit province in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The aid, from regional emergency stockpiles in Tanzania, was scheduled for immediate distribution. The supplies arrived in Goma as the World Food Programme (WFP), with assistance from UNHCR, began distributing food to some 135,000 displaced people in the six camps run by the refugee agency near Goma.

More than 250,000 people have been displaced since the fighting resumed in August in North Kivu. Estimates are that there are now more than 1.3 million displaced people in this province alone.

Posted on 6 November 2008

UNHCR/Partners Bring Aid to North Kivu

UNHCR's Dr. Paul Spiegel on the Border of CAR  and CameroonPlay video

UNHCR's Dr. Paul Spiegel on the Border of CAR and Cameroon

This video was shot by one of our staff* using a mobile phone as they helped refugees who had crossed the river to safety.
Central African Republic: Torn CommunitiesPlay video

Central African Republic: Torn Communities

For more than a year, inter-communal strife has displaced tens of thousands of people in the Central African Republic. But amid the violence, efforts are being made to promote reconciliation.
Central African Republic : Bangui Airport RefugePlay video

Central African Republic : Bangui Airport Refuge

UNHCR's High Commissioner António Guterres visits Central African Republic and meets internally displaced people in Bangui airport. He says the international community needs to give the CAR crisis the same focus as the emergencies in Syria and South Sudan.