UNHCR Briefing Notes

Geneva, 27.08.2013

This is a summary of what was said by the UNHCR spokesperson at

today’s Palais des Nations press briefing in Geneva.

 

UNHCR condemns killing of civilians in Eastern DRC, seeing new

displacement into Burundi

UNHCR joins other UN agencies in condemning the killing of civilians

during fighting this past weekend between the Congolese Army (FARDC) and

the M23 rebel group around Goma, the capital of North Kivu in eastern

Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

At least three people were killed and five others wounded on Saturday

morning (24 August) when a shell landed in Ndosho, a suburb of Goma.

Goma is packed with civilians because more than 150,000 people have been

displaced towards the city since 2012.

Another shell fell Saturday near the Mugunga 3 camp, which shelters

more than 14,000 internally displaced people. On 22 August, numerous

shells landed in residential areas of Goma, killing at least four people

and wounding 15 – all civilians.

We remind all parties to the conflict that indiscriminate or deliberate

attacks against civilians are war crimes. Civilians must not be

targeted.

Elsewhere in eastern DRC, we are seeing a flaring of a longstanding

conflict in the Ruzizi Plain, on the border of South Kivu and Burundi.

Conflict there re-erupted in April 2012, but has sent 1,500

asylum-seekers into Burundi over the last 12 days. Asylum-seekers,

fleeing the Sange, Mutalule, and Rwanena areas of the Ruzizi Plain, tell

us that unidentified armed people killed eight people and seriously

wounded many more.

The asylum seekers are being temporarily hosted at the Cishemere

Transit Centre, in Burundi’s western province of Cibitoke. Many of

them who were hosted by Burundian families in the commune of Buganda

have been moved to the transit centre where they can be better assisted.

So far we have transferred 174 people to Kavumu Refugee Camp in the

eastern province of Cankuzo, and some 341 others are on their way

there.

We are still seeing people arriving in Burundi, about 60 per day, down

from 150 to 200 per day last week. About 60 per cent are children.

Meanwhile, Uganda is still hosting some 50,000 Congolese refugees who

fled fighting in North Kivu in mid-July. Refugees are continuing to come

on their own from the border to the transit centre at Bubukwanga in

western Uganda. Despite the fact that we have already transferred more

than 3,000 people to better facilities at the Kyangwali Refugee

Settlement in mid-western Uganda, 21,344 people remain at the transit

centre. A further 20,000 refugees who are staying with relatives or host

families inside the Ugandan border also require help.

 

END

Gisèle Nyembwe

Public Information Associate

Collaboratrice adjointe chargée de l’information

UNHCR Canada

Tel: (613) 232-0909 ext. 225

Mobile: (613) 986-4300

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