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DRC: 20,000 People Displaced in North Kivu –UN

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) says no fewer than 20,000 people have been displaced following a series of attacks by the Allied Democratic Force (ADF) in the North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DCR).

Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesperson for UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, disclosed this while briefing correspondents at the UN headquarters in New York, on Friday.

According to Haq, since late June, the ADF are alleged to have killed at least 14 people and injured many others in and around the city of Beni.

“Following the attacks, people have sought safety in the eastern part of the city. Economic and educational activities continue to be disrupted.

“UNHCR and its partners are supporting local authorities to register displaced families, assess and respond to their needs,’’ he said.

Haq said nearly two million people had been uprooted by insecurity and violence in North Kivu province alone over the past two years.

Briefing on the Central African Republic, he said the United Nations Mission in the Country (MINUSCA), reported that preparations were underway for the holding of the final round of legislative elections.

“The elections are scheduled for July 25, covering seven constituencies to fill the remaining seats of the parliament.

“The mission provided logistical and technical support to the National Elections Authority to complete the distribution of all election materials to the prefectures where the residual legislative elections will be held.

“Our colleagues also participated in election security meetings to help ensure that the elections are held in the best possible security conditions.

“The peacekeeping mission, as part of its mandate, continues to provide support, including security for the holding of peaceful elections.’ he said.

Meanwhile, he said UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for Syria, Imran Riza, the Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Syria Crisis, Muhannad Hadi, and UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa, Ted Chaiban, expressed concern about severe interruptions to the Alouk Water Station in Central African Republic.

He said “Since November 2019, the water station, which directly provides clean drinking water to nearly 460,000 people, has been disrupted at least 24 times.

“In total, up to one million people are impacted, including many of the most vulnerable displaced families living in camps and informal settlements.’’

According to him, the UN officials called for the resumption of water and electricity services and the protection of civilians’ access to water and sanitation.

He said they reminded all parties that water stations were civilian infrastructure which should be protected at all times.

“They also continue to urge all parties to immediately provide safe passage and regular and unimpeded access for technical and humanitarian personnel, so that the Alouk water station can operate without further interruption,’’ Haq said. (NAN)

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