from JEAN KASSONGO in Kinshasa, DRC
KINSHASA, (CAJ News) – THERE is alarm over the killing of at least 2 000 civilians by armed groups in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in 2020.
They have been killed in Ituri, North Kivu and South Kivu provinces.
The killings and kidnappings have continued in North Kivu in 2021, where attacks have also been directed against displaced civilians.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) expressed concern.
“UNHCR is alarmed at ongoing atrocities carried out by armed groups,” said UNHCR spokesperson Babar Baloch.
“The attacks have become part of a systematic pattern to disrupt civilians’ lives, instill fear and create havoc,” the envoy aded.
More than 88 000 have recently been displaced and reside in 22 sites supported by UNHCR and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).
Many others live in spontaneous sites – while some 90 percent are accommodated in host communities.
Attacks by armed groups are carried out on the suspicion of collaboration with other groups or the Congolese security forces.
Some of these sites are under threat from multiple armed groups.
“Civilians find themselves trapped in the middle of confrontations between different groups,” Baloch lamented.
More than 5 million people have been uprooted by insecurity and violence in the DRC in the last two years.
About 2 million have been displaced in North Kivu Province alone.
– CAJ News