GENEVA / DRC DISPLACEMENT

18-Jun-2019 00:02:05
The United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) said more than 300,000 people have been forced to flee resurgent inter-ethnic violence in north-east Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) just this month. UNTV CH
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STORY: GENEVA / DRC DISPLACEMENT
TRT: 2:05
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 18 JUNE 2019, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
SHOTLIST
FILE - GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

1. Wide shot, Palais des Nations exterior

18 JUNE 2019, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

2. Wide shot, press room
3. Close up, journalists
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Babar Baloch, Spokesperson, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR):
“Violence in north-eastern parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo is reported to have displaced more than 300,000 people since early June this year. The situation in Ituri Province has deteriorated since the middle of last week, with multiple attacks involving the Hema and Lendu groups.”
5. Med shot, journalists
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Babar Baloch, Spokesperson, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR):
“People are fleeing attacks and counter attacks in Djugu Territory, with reports of both communities forming self-defence groups and being involved in revenge killings.”
7. Close up, journalist
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Babar Baloch, Spokesperson, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR):
“The details we are receiving from our partners, and also some of the displaced- they talk about brutalities against civilians, killings, sexual violence, and other extreme forms of violence against civilians and people.”
9. Close up, cameras, camerawoman
10. SOUNDBITE (English) Babar Baloch, Spokesperson, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR):
“Many more people are trying to get to the relative safety of sites near Bunia but are reportedly blocked by armed youth from both ethnic groups. Others are trying to cross Lake Albert into Uganda.”
11. Close up, journalists
12. SOUNDBITE (English) Tarik Jasarevic, Spokesperson, World Health Organization (WHO):
“The mobility of the population in north Kivu and in Ituri, is a risk factor. So, every time you have people moving in high numbers, it’s more complicated to work on follow-ups: contact-tracing, follow-ups on people basically who are supposed to be observed on a daily basis or for 21 days.”
13. Wide shot, journalists
14. Close up, journalists
15. Wide shot, journalists
STORYLINE
The United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) said more than 300,000 people have been forced to flee resurgent inter-ethnic violence in north-east Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) just this month.

Citing “attacks and counter-attacks” between Hema herders and Lendu farmers, UNHCR spokesperson Babar Baloch told journalists in Geneva today (18 Jun) that the situation worsened in recent days. He noted that intense fighting has also been reported between the Congolese armed forces (FARDC) and non-state armed actors in Djugu territory to bring the situation under control.

“Violence in north-eastern parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo is reported to have displaced more than 300,000 people since early June this year,” said Baloch. “The situation in Ituri Province has deteriorated since the middle of last week, with multiple attacks involving the Hema and Lendu groups.”

Three of Ituri’s five administrative territories - Djugu, Mahagi and Irumu – have all seen mass displacement after self-defence militia reportedly carried out “revenge killings”, the UNHCR spokesperson said.

In response to fears that the situation could escalate further, the UN peacekeeping mission in the DRC, MONUSCO, has set up three temporary military bases in Djugu and Mahagi. Teams from MONUSCO have also been deployed to assess the situation and engage with communities and the authorities to help prevent more attacks.

“The details we are receiving from our partners, and also some of the displaced; they talk about brutalities against civilians, killings, sexual violence, and other extreme forms of violence against civilians and people,” Baloch said, noting that UNHCR’s warning is based on information received from sources in some 125 locations.

Simmering rivalry between the Hema and Lendu goes back decades; in the 1998 to 2003 war, thousands were killed in the resource-rich region.

The UNHCR spokesperson expressed his concern about the humanitarian situation in Bunia, the regional capital of Ituri. He added, “Many more people are trying to get to the relative safety of sites near Bunia but are reportedly blocked by armed youth from both ethnic groups. Others are trying to cross Lake Albert into Uganda.”

To date, the majority of those forced to flee violence have found shelter with host communities, while some 30,000 people have arrived in displacement sites where conditions were already dire, with many needing shelter and health care.
In response to a journalist’s question as to whether the mass displacement risked complicating efforts to tackle the ongoing Ebola outbreak north-eastern DRC, World Health Organization (WHO) spokesperson Tarik Jasarevic said that the “mobility” of people in Ituri and neighbouring North Kivu was a “risk factor.”

He added, “Every time you have people moving in high numbers, it’s more complicated to work on follow-ups: contact-tracing, follow-ups on people basically who are supposed to be observed on a daily basis or for 21 days” – the incubation period for the disease.

So far, DRC’s latest Ebola outbreak has claimed 1,449 lives and infected 2168 people since it was declared on 1 August last year, the WHO spokesperson said on Tuesday.
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