Over 35,000 IDPs flee fighting in DR Congo, UN raises concern

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Date: Apr. 14, 2016
Publisher: COMTEX News Network, Inc.
Document Type: Brief article
Length: 270 words
Content Level: (Level 5)
Lexile Measure: 1580L

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KINSHASA, Apr 14, 2016 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- The UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on Wednesday expressed concern over the displacement of more than 35,000 IDPs who have been forced to flee due to fresh fighting between the Congolese army and armed groups in Mpati zone, North Kivu province in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo).

Since March 27, five sites meant for hosting Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) were emptied and thousands of people were forced to take refuge in neighbouring villages, OCHA official said in Kinshasa.

"I am deeply concerned by the situation. The last few days have been very difficult for IDPs who have been forced to flee the sites, prevented by forces to return to those sites and are now incapable of getting humanitarian assistance which they need," Dr. Mamadou Diallo who is the humanitarian coordinator in DR Congo said.

According to him, even though some people have started returning to the sites, the situation remains volatile and very worrying because access to the zone has been made difficult by the ongoing fighting.

OCHA noted that since April 4, a number of humanitarian organizations have managed to access the zone to evaluate humanitarian needs.

Violence in North Kivu which has affected both civilians and humanitarian organizations, increased since the end of 2014, and led to fresh displacements, within a context of diminishing humanitarian funding.

North Kivu province is currently hosting about 781,000 IDPs, out of which 30 percent are settled in 53 IDP camps. Mpati zone has seven IDP camps that hold over 45,000 people.

Copyright 2016 XINHUA NEWS AGENCY

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A449407657