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DRC: Decreased mass population movements, but continued concern about security situation

Briefing notes

DRC: Decreased mass population movements, but continued concern about security situation

11 November 2008 Also available in:

While the situation remains volatile in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), UNHCR continues its efforts to assist thousands of internally displaced Congolese. Yesterday, a plane carrying 36 tonnes of relief supplies from our central emergency stockpile in Dubai arrived in Entebbe, Uganda. From there, some 1,500 bales of plastic sheeting and three prefabricated warehouses will be flown to Goma. The rest of the items (3,000 jerry cans, 2,650 plastic sheets, 7,500 blankets and 1,500 kitchen sets) will be moved by road from Entebbe to Bunia, in the DRC. UNHCR has already sent non-food items for some 50,000 people from our regional warehouse in Ngara, Tanzania, by road to the eastern DRC.

Despite some shooting reported on Sunday, no major population movements have been reported in Kibati camp on the northern outskirts of Goma. Nevertheless, we remain extremely concerned about the security of some 65,000 internally displaced Congolese civilians in the two Kibati camps. High Commissioner António Guterres again appeals to all sides in the conflict to respect the civilian character of the camps, to respect humanitarian principles and to ensure the safety of civilians and humanitarian workers.

With the influx to Kibati, we have erected six large portable warehouse tents as emergency shelter for some 1,200 people. Earlier plans to expand Kibati are now under reconsideration. The expansion may instead focus on sites to the south-west of Goma, rather than at Kibati. Distribution of non-food aid items such as blankets, sleeping mats, kitchen sets, mosquito nets and jerry cans will start today. This is following WFP's food distribution in the camps, which include four others in the Goma area managed by UNHCR.

We are also extremely concerned over the reported displacement of thousands of people in Rutshuru and Kanyabayonga, north of Goma, where access is not possible because of continuing insecurity.