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High Commissioner Guterres to visit DRC, Uganda, with WFP chief

Briefing notes

High Commissioner Guterres to visit DRC, Uganda, with WFP chief

20 July 2010

High Commissioner for Refugees, António Guterres, is visiting the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda this week to draw attention to the plight of Congo's displaced people and the need to ensure humanitarian access to them.

Mr. Guterres will be travelling to Equateur province in western DRC on Wednesday, and North Kivu in the country's east on Friday. He will be joined for part of the trip by WFP's Executive Director Josette Sheeran. They will both be travelling to Kampala at the weekend for the African Union summit opening scheduled for July 25th.

Fighting between militia groups and the Congolese armed forces, as well as violence against civilians, has displaced some 1.85 million people internally and created 450,000 refugees - most hosted in neighbouring countries. Last year alone, saw over a million people displaced in eastern DRC, and close to 210,000 displaced from Equateur province - both internally, and externally as refugees.

Insecurity has blocked humanitarian access in several areas. So far this year UNHCR has recorded 116 attacks against humanitarian workers.