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1000s flee DRC violence

29 February 2012, 10:14

Uganda - Ongoing violence in the volatile eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo has caused thousands of people to flee to neighbouring Uganda this year, government officials said.

The Congolese were fleeing through different official and unofficial border points, Ugandan authorities said. Many were stuck at the Nyakabande transit camp near the border town of Kisoro, 480km southwest of the Ugandan capital Kampala.

"The number of refugees who arrived since mid-January is in the several thousands," said Uganda's commissioner for refugees David Kazungu.

"They are still moving in," Kazungu added, although the pace had slowed to about 50 people a week.

Ugandan authorities said they were struggling to cope with the fresh influx and bring the people to existing refugee camps in the country, where basic services are being offered.

The refugees are believed to be escaping from marauding militia groups in the mostly lawless North Kivu province in DR Congo. There are also concerns about threats of post-election violence brewing in the massive central African country.

The UN office in Kampala was not able to comment on the situation.


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