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Refugees flock conflict-torn Congo

Story from: CAJ News Africa

Refugees flock CongoFrom JEAN KASSONGO in Kinshasa, DRC
KINSHASA, (CAJ News) – MORE than 65 000 new asylum seekers have fled the volatile Central African Republic and South Sudan to the equally troubled Democratic Republic of Congo.
Violence, tensions and fear about imminent attacks in border areas have triggered the influx.
Local authorities have reported tens of thousands more arrivals from CAR in areas of difficult access.
The country is in immense crisis as clashes between Christian radicals and Muslim militants continue.
Some 64 000 civilians have been registered in DRC in recent weeks.
Meanwhile, more than 1 000 newly arrived South Sudanese refugees have been biometrically registered in the Meri and Biringi refugee sites in DRC.
In total, 30 470 South Sudanese refugees live in the two sites.
Over 60 percent of the refugee population are children.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said activities of armed groups restricted access to a considerable number of refugees and asylum seekers who crossed the border to the DRC.
Funding constraints are impacting the provision of all basic services.
Refugees are hosted in overcrowded transit facilities for months due to the lack of shelter.
There is also shortage of water and sanitary facilities, as well as education and healthcare services.
Ironically, conflict perpetrated by armed groups has gripped DRC.
Some 4 million civilians are displaced while thousands have fled to neighbouring countries.
CAJ News

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