SADC bloc enduring unprecedented displacements


SADC forces in Mozambique

from JEAN KASSONGO in Kinshasa, DRC
DRC Bureau
KINSHASA, (CAJ News) – THE humanitarian community is grappling with multifaceted crises in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) regional bloc.

Major disasters include an escalation of violence in the eastern provinces of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), escalation of the Islamist insurgency in Mozambique and a drought emergency in Zambia.

Security conditions have rapidly deteriorated in the eastern DRC in February.

Violent clashes between armed groups in North Kivu and South Kivu forced nearly 380 000 people to flee their homes, including from and to areas where humanitarian access is limited.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) noted incursions by non-state armed groups into refugee sites were also recorded, causing severe protection incidents.

In Ituri, inter-communal clashes were responsible for dozens of deaths and human rights violations.

“UNHCR is closely monitoring the situation and providing assistance to communities affected by the violence,” said a spokesperson.

UNHCR is also contending with the escalation of the crisis in Mozambique.

Intensifying clashes and attacks by non-state armed groups in Chiúre and other districts of the northern Cabo Delgado province have raised concerns among the humanitarian community.

By the end of February, nearly 113 000 people had been forced to flee to escape the violence.

UNHCR is working closely with local authorities, partners, and host communities, providing protection, shelter and essential assistance to displaced families in need.

The drought crisis in Zambia is affecting 84 out of 116 districts.

On February 29, President Hakainde Hichilema declared the drought that is ravaging Zambia a national disaster and emergency.

UNHCR has assured it is working with the Government’s Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit and UN partners to advocate for the inclusion of refugees, former refugees and asylum seekers in response plans.

– CAJ News

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