Nearly 1 Million Newly Displaced in DRC in First Half of 2023 Amid Surge in Violence
Geneva/Kinshasa – A surge in attacks on civilians by non-state armed groups has newly displaced close to 1 million people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) since January, according to the International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM).
An estimated 6.1 million people are currently internally displaced in DRC, a 17 per cent increase from October 2022.
Since the beginning of the year, the civilian population has been severely affected by violence and brutal attacks perpetrated by non-state armed groups in eastern DRC, resulting in loss of life, mass displacement, and increasing instability. As the conflict intensifies, the humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate, and millions are facing acute food insecurity as well as other critical needs.
On 11 June, at least 46 people were killed, including children, and others injured following an attack by an armed group on the Lala displacement site in the eastern part of Ituri province. The attack, reportedly carried out by the CODECO (Coopérative pour le développement du Congo) non-state armed group, also resulted in the renewed displacement of over 7,800 people from the site, destruction of shelter and personal belongings. IOM strongly condemns this serious violation of international humanitarian law and recalls that attacks against civilians may constitute war crimes.
"This recent gruesome attack is a testament to the intolerable dangers displaced people in DRC face daily,” says Federico Soda, IOM Director for the Department of Emergencies.
“IOM strongly condemns this heinous violation of international humanitarian law and recalls that attacks against civilians may constitute war crimes. Concerted efforts are desperately needed to end the violence and help the Congolese people find peace.”
Across the country, over 26 million people need humanitarian aid. Despite insecurity, and limited humanitarian access to parts of the country, IOM and its partners have been striving to provide emergency relief to those displaced and those affected by the violence and remain committed to staying and delivering in support of the Congolese people in line with its Crisis Response Plan.
Due to overlapping crises – political, humanitarian, and economic – in various parts of DRC, IOM has declared a scale-up of operations in the country. This will enable a more effective crisis response to the humanitarian emergency caused by the escalation of violence.
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