Wednesday, July 23, 2008

712 Displaced Congolese Return Home with UN Help

“Now, I can have a real roof and not live under anymore plastic sheeting,” said one Congolese man to a UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCR) officer. This man was finally able to return to his home in the Northern district of Ituri in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Previously he was living in a displaced persons camp due to violent inter-ethnic clashes that have occurred since the end of the DRC civil war. He was just one of the 712 citizens of the DRC returned by UN chartered boats to his hometown July 21, bringing the total of returned internally displaced persons under the UNHCR assisted return program to 3,000. Over 1,800 more IDPs are expected to return home with help from the UNHCR in the coming weeks.
Hope and success are increasing in the region as rebel forces are disarmed, stability is rising, and fighters are being reintegrated into society. IDPs returning home are receiving food and agricultural assistance from UN agencies, attempting to rehabilitate war-torn lives and sustain lands ravaged by violence. UNHCR says they hope to complete the IDP return program by the end of the year.

For more details on this story and more from the DRC, visit