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Republic of Congo: renewed influx from DRC

Briefing notes

Republic of Congo: renewed influx from DRC

12 May 2000

Renewed fighting this week in the Democratic Republic of Congo has driven more refugees, who had found safety on the opposing river banks and islands in the Oubangui river, further inside the neighbouring Congo Republic.

Last Saturday and Sunday, explosions and heavy weapons were heard across the river from the town of Impfondo. Hundreds of refugees who had sheltered on a nearby midstream island fled, with over 100 Congolese moving into the police compound in the town.

On Tuesday, fighting could be heard in Bururu, about 20 km south of Impfondo, and a UNHCR mission identified 430 new arrivals in Njundou, around 250 km south of Impfondo across the river from the large DRC town of Mbandaka.

Access to the 400 km stretch of river where Congolese have crossed to the Republic of Congo is extremely limited. According to UNHCR staff, the situation has returned to normal in the last few days around Impfondo. But authorities in the town banned all river traffic, following the security incidents.