Thousands Flee DRC for Zambia

UNITED NATIONS – Thousands of people have fled DRC, fleeing from all the violence, going to the DRC on Tuesday.

The United Nations’ refugee agency reported that over 3000 people from DRC had entered the South-East boarder gate of Zambia since August, which is statistically the largest influx of this kind in the past five years.

The spokesperson of UNHCR Andrej Mahecic said, “People are escaping inter-ethnic clashes, as well as fighting between Congolese security forces and militia groups.”

The people who fled DRC described escaping extreme brutality, with civilians being killed, women rapes, property looted and houses set alight.

There have been recent reports of multiple deadly clashes between the Pygmies and Bantus from ethnic Luba group. 60% of those arriving in Zambia are children with many showing symptoms of malaria, malnutrition, skin infections, dysentery and respiratory problems.

It was found that many of the refugees had already been displaced inside DRC by the violence before crossing the border.

“The lack of roads and the long distances make it difficult to monitor the situation and provide them with assistance,” said Mahecic.

UNHCR is offering assistance to the Zambian Government and the Zambian Red Cross to supply nutritional meals and basic items such as tents, plastic sheeting, mosquito nets and hygiene kits, assisting the refugees from Congo.

More health assistance is needed, physically and emotionally.

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