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Africa: Violence returns to DR Congo’s Ituri province

Africa: Violence returns to DR Congo’s Ituri province

Ituru province in DR Congo suffers from the continuous violence, said UNHCR chief Filippo Grandi who visited the DRC’s main eastern city of Goma on Sunday.

The UN promised to facilitate the return home of Rwandans still in Ituri province and entire the region. In Congo, Rwandan Hutus’ refugee status evaporates and many of this community and their descendants live in chronic uncertainty.

The point is most of Rwandan Hutus, around 9,200, have faced revoking their refugee status because it was deemed that they no longer face persecution in Rwanda. But under international law, they had enjoyed specific protection by their host state and could not be forcibly returned to their home country.

That Brazzaville’s decision was criticised by Congolese aid groups, to strip them of their refugee status took effect on December 31, 2017.

“Those who did not get an exemption are now considered to be undocumented on Congolese soil,”

the Brazzaville government said in its recent statement. A new violence leads to even more displacement, more than 40,000 Congolese have fled the country to seek refuge in neighbouring Uganda.

Meanwhile, DR Congo becomes a very fragile region, said Director-General of UNESCO on Wednesday, paying a tribute to the courage of the guards who risk their lives to ensure the protection of this heritage. This atrocity marks the third attack this year against the staff of the Congolese Institute for Nature Conservation in the Virunga Park. Since 1996, attacks in the Park have claimed over 175 victims, UNESCO stressed.

“I condemn this deadly attack on six guards of the Virunga National Park and their driver,”

said Audrey Azoulay and urged DRC’s government to take all the necessary legal measures to put an end to these repetitive attacks.

Thanks to the UNESCO and EU efforts for several years, the human capacity and resources of World Heritage Sites were strengthened.