By Munira Abdelmenan Awel
ANKARA (AA) - The UN Refugee Agency on Tuesday said it is alarmed over the escalating humanitarian disaster in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Tanganyika Province, which has plunged into further violence.
''Throughout 2017, UNHCR partners documented over 12,000 reports of human rights violations in Tanganyika and the nearby area of Pweto in the Haut Katanga province, to where the conflict has spread,'' said the UNHCR in a statement.
"Vulnerable displaced populations most often fell victim to the latest atrocities. These were not only committed in the context of the ethnic conflict, but also by the soldiers deployed to fight the renegade militias.
"The violence spreading across Tanganyika, which is three times the size of Switzerland with a population of some 3 million, has now internally displaced over 630,000 people,'' it added.
The UN agency said it is working with partners to redress this calamitous situation, but is appealing for increased assistance to help the population cope.
For 2018, the UNHCR is appealing for $368.7 million for the Congolese situation. A total of $80 million is required to support the internally displaced populations inside the DRC, according to the UNHCR.
Insurgent groups have been carrying out attacks in the DRC for several decades. There are several militia groups in eastern DRC formed by warlords that have been accused of looting property and controling several gold mines.
The country has also seen several protests as opposition parties accuse President Joseph Kabila of avoiding elections and extending his term through illegal means.