Rwanda, Uganda seeing new arrivals from violence in DR Congo

Briefing Notes, 12 June 2012

This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Adrian Edwards to whom quoted text may be attributed at the press briefing, on 12 June 2012, at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

Violence in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo is continuing to cause people to flee to neighbouring countries.

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 Sunday UNHCR transferred a first group of 141 refugees there, and a second group of 149 people was moved on Monday.

Kigeme is a tented site. 100 tents, each capable of holding five refugees, have been erected so far, and a further 50 are being put up daily. The site has latrines and a shower block but is limited in size. We have approached the local authorities to seek more land deeper in the forest.

Refugees at 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.

Fighting between government troops and renegade fighters in North Kivu since April has left more than 100,000 people displaced, including 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.

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