More than 8,000 refugees from DRC cross into Zambia in past 3 months

| Updated Dec 04, 2017 at 7:43am



More than 8,000 refugees fleeing violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) have crossed the border into Zambia in the past three months, said the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

Around 12,000 have fled militia violence in the south-east of the country so far; 80 per cent of whom are women and children.

DRC's eastern region has been wracked by violence between government forces and armed groups for years, and inter-ethnic fighting has grown worse throughout the year.

UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric said there were numerous reports of "extreme brutality" against civilians, with widespread looting, sexual violence and villages being torched.

"The Kenani Transit Centre, which currently hosts over 8,000 refugees, is filled to capacity. Zambia has made more land available for a new site, but UNHCR and its partners urgently need resources to develop the new site and for refugees to receive life-saving assistance."