DRC refugee influx stretching camp facilities

An influx of refugees fleeing a mix of increased post-election related violence and continued militia...

Civilians fleeing the ongoing violence

An influx of refugees fleeing a mix of increased post-election related violence and continued militia activity in parts of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is stretching the capacity of refugee camps in western Uganda to host them, say officials.

"We are kind of overwhelmed; there are many Congolese pouring and crossing into Uganda daily," Stephen Malinga, Uganda's Minister for Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees, told IRIN.

"So far, we have received about 3,700 new arrivals into the country through three western Uganda border points; we expect many more to come."

Deadly protests erupted in parts of the DRC in the run-up to and during the 28 November 2011 DRC polls, with scores of people being killed, reportedly by gunmen affiliated to the two main political rivals, President Joseph Kabila and veteran opposition politician Etienne Tshisekedi.

On 9 December 2011, the country's Electoral Commission declared Kabila the winner, having garnered 49 percent of the votes cast against Tshisekedi's 32 percent, triggering violent protests and a claim to power by Tshisekedi.

According to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), at least 2,000 DRC refugees, mainly from the area around Rutshuru in DRC's eastern North Kivu Province, have crossed into western Uganda since January.