Militia groups across eastern regions of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) are continuing to target displaced civilians in a growing number of deadly attacks this month.
UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and partner organizations are shocked by reports of eight major attacks in Ituri Province impacting displaced people in just the first ten days of February – characterized by killings, kidnappings, looting of livestock and food, and torching of homes.
Most recently, in the early hours of Tuesday 15 February, militia fighters massacred 17 people with machetes in the locality of Lando, Djugu Territory. Eight children were among those killed. A mother and her two children were burned alive as assailants set shelters ablaze.
UNHCR calls on all parties involved to immediately halt the violence against civilians, including displaced populations, many of whom have been forced to flee multiple times. Large-scale and repeated displacements are overwhelming the resources of neighbouring settlements where people have sought safety.
The wave of violence follows a particularly lethal attack on the Plaine Savo site for displaced people on 1 February, also in Djugu Territory, Ituri. In that incident, 62 people were killed by militia fighters while a further 47 were injured. This sparked the displacement of 25,000 people in the area, who fled towards Bule town where UNHCR and partner CARITAS have been providing emergency support.