UNHCR: Human rights violations against displaced in eastern DRC

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The UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, has warned that hundreds of thousands of displaced people in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are facing grave human rights violations.

Speaking at a press briefing in the Palais des Nations in Geneva on Tuesday, UNHCR spokesperson Babar Baloch said the organisation needs US$ 150 million to respond to the needs of refugees and displaced people in the DRC this year, but only 57 percent of that target has been received.

Rights violations in eastern DRC

In a summary of Babar Baloch’s briefing, UNHCR says it is “alarmed” by the number of displaced people in eastern DRC who it says “are not only living in dire conditions without proper assistance but are unprotected and exposed to extreme human rights violations on a daily basis.”

According to the agency, some 300,000 people – mostly women and children – were displaced after a wave of attacks in the eastern Ituri and North Kivu provinces in June 2019.

“Five months on from June’s attacks, killings, sexual violence and abductions persist amid continuing conflict,” UNHCR said in its summary. “Many women and children are still living in precarious conditions, sleeping in the open or in overcrowded public spaces further exposing them to risks of harassment, assault or sexual exploitation, which according to the displaced people are widespread.”

UNHCR says that in October alone, its staff recorded at least 1,000 human rights violations in the two eastern provinces.

Featured image: By UNHCR – http://www.unhcr.org/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/home, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5518123

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.