Half million Congolese displaced in four months of fighting

December 11th, 2008 - 5:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Kinshasa, Dec 11 (Xinhua) Half a million people in Congo have been displaced internally in the past four months as a result of fighting in the eastern part of the central African country, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has said. Hostilities resumed in August between the government forces and the National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP) led by renegade Tutsi general Laurent Nkunda in the eastern province of North Kivu.

The CNDP took up arms again after signing a peace deal with the government in January, accusing it of failing to protect ethnic Tutsis, who crossed into Congo after the 1994 genocide from Rwandan Hutu rebels.

The agency also said 30,000 of the displaced moved to neighbouring Uganda.

In the northeastern province of Orientale, more than 130,000 people have been displaced, including 83,088 in Dungu. In the restive district of Ituri, the conflicts between the government troops and the newly formed Popular Front for the Justice of Congo have displaced 715 people in Mambasa and 129,527 in Irumu, the OCHA said.

OCHA official Nestor Yombo Djema said two air corridors have been established at Bunia, capital of Ituri, and Kampala, capital of Uganda, to ensure safe transit of the displaced.

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