84 000 refugees flee fighting

2009-12-16 11:38

kalahari.com

Geneva - About 84 000 destitute villagers from northwestern Democratic Republic of Congo have crossed the border into the Republic of Congo and need aid, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees said on Tuesday.

Inter-ethnic violence between two local tribes disputing farming and fishing rights has sparked the exodus. The Enyele and Munzaya tribes are in dispute over farming and fishing rights.

Apart from the refugees in the Republic of Congo, the UNHCR estimated that about 100 000 people have been displaced inside DR Congo.

"Together with our partners, we are trying to cope with the influx but aid reserves are running low as the number of refugees mushrooms and current needs overcome the actual resources," UNHCR spokesperson Andrej Mahecic said.

"In addition, humanitarian agencies are facing considerable logistical obstacles as the entire refugee population is scattered along a 500km  stretch on the banks of the Oubangui river."

The Oubangui forms the border between the two Congos. The communal violence erupted at the end of October in the northwestern DR Congo town of Dongo between the Enyele, or Lobala, and the Munzaya and Bombona.

Fresh wounds

Kinshasa's regular army early this week retook Dongo and has been reinforced, with backing from UN peacekeepers, and has orders to secure the whole territory.

The UNHCR reported signs of recent violence on arriving refugees. "In the last wave of arrivals, UNHCR staff met people with fresh gunshot wounds, as well as registered nine rape cases, three of whom were girls under 18 years of age."

The refugees "live in overcrowded conditions and the risks of respiratory infections, diarrhoea as well as malaria are high.

"Together with its partners, UNHCR has helped create nine health centres near main refugee concentration areas, which need more medicine and personnel. In addition, we are running several mobile clinics for the more remote areas."

Because there is no clean water, the refugees are using the river. So aid workers are distributing water-purifying tablets to make the water safer for consumption.

Aid agencies have installed six large water bladders with a combined capacity of 60,000 litres in the vicinity of Betou in northern ROC where nearly 55,000 of the new arrivals are now sheltering.

The UNHCR said that some local people have taken refugees into their homes, "sharing their meagre resources." Others have found shelter in public buildings, such as schools.

Relief workers from the UNHCR are planning an assessment mission across the border in the DR Congo's tense Equateur province "as soon as the security conditions permit."

- SAPA

Read more on:    un  |  unhcr  |  drc  |  central africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
 

DA wants to empower fishing communities - Zille

DA leader Helen Zille says the party has a plan for harbours and small-scale fishing communities.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Friday Grabouw - 11:32 AM
    Road name: N2 Eastbound
    DELAYS between Sir Lowrys Pass and Grabouw
  • Friday Cape Town - 10:14 AM
    Road name: M3 Inbound
    EVENT - left lane closed between Rhodes Avenue and UCT
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Samsung Galaxy Y

The Samsung Y (Young) is tiny but powerful with Android...

From R1499.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may find yourself putting in that extra effort on looking good and making an impression. ...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.