Democratic Repblic of Congo: UN agency concerned at military buildup in North Kivu

Published on UN.org, October 5, 2007.

5 October 2007 – As civilians in the troubled North Kivu region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) continue to flee their homes, the United Nations refugee agency today warned that the humanitarian disaster there could worsen if a military build-up the volatile area leads to more intensified fighting.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates that some 5,000 internally displaced people sought refuge at nearby sites over the past week, taking advantage of a lull in the fighting between government forces, renegade troops and rebels. “Some had walked for days to reach the sites,” agency spokesman Ron Redmond told a press briefing in Geneva.

The estimated total of internally displaced people (IDPs) in the Mugunga area has now surpassed 80,000. UN agencies and non-governmental organizations say over 370,000 IDPs are though to have been displaced in North Kivu since December 2006 … (full text).

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