September 17, 2021

DR Congo: UN agency appeals for support as more than 20,000 new arrivals of refugees cross over to Angola

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United Nations refugee agency has called for a suitable place to shelter people fleeing violence and insecurity in The Democratic Republic of Congo’s Kasai region and seeking refuge in neighbouring Angola.

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Congolese women and children arrive at a border point in Chissanda, Lunda Norte, Angola after fleeing militia attacks in Kasai Province, Democratic Republic of the Congo. UNHCR workers were waiting to register them and organise onward transportation to camps or settlements. Photo: UNHCR/Pumla Rulashe

UNHCR  appeals for $6.5 million to provide immediate lifesaving assistance, including food, nutrition, health and relief items for refugees.

According to THE GUARDIAN, a local official reported the decapitation of 42 policemen ambushed by a Congolese militia group in the increasingly violent region.

According to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), more than 20,000 new arrivals have been recorded since early April, with nearly 3,000 over the past few days.

“[We] continue provide food and relief items to those arriving [and our] partners are pitching tents and distributing plastic sheeting to provide adequate shelter, prioritizing the most vulnerable people,” Andrej Mahecic, a spokesperson for the UN agency, told journalists today at a regular media briefing at UN Office at Geneva (UNOG).

According to UNHCR, there are particular concerns for women and girls, who form about 70 per cent of new arrivals, as well as for a number of children who arrived unaccompanied and separated.

UNHCR reports severe wounds and burn injuries among recent arrivals, included those who had been transferred to a local hospital to receive urgent medical attention.

“Detailed information on the injuries was difficult to ascertain as the situation was unfolding in a very remote area, the north-eastern part of Angola, with people fleeing from the Kasai region also from a very remote area,” explained Mr. Mahecic, adding that in its response to the situation, the UN agency has airlifted first-aid kits, solar lanterns, tents, and plastic sheets and rolls.

 

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