The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is hosting about 5.2 million internally displaced people due to rising militancy and banditry, the UN Refugee Agency said on Saturday.
In a report, the UNHCR said the Central African country's provinces of North Kivu and South Kivu alone host around 2.8 million internally displaced people out of the total 5.2 million.
The concentration of displaced people in the eastern part of the country is linked to the presence of Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels who frequently raid villages, kill locals, and loot property.
Considered a terrorist organization, the ADF was originally based in western Uganda but expanded into the neighboring DRC.
A security officer in North Kivu, Lt. Martin Songora, told Anadolu Agency over the phone: "Whenever the ADF rebels and other militants attack villages, people flee to other parts of the country for safety."
The field coordinator of the UNHCR sub-office in the eastern city of Goma, Henri Sylvain Yakana, thanked all families hosting the displaced people for their help.
The agency said it was currently executing several projects in North Kivu, including on community agriculture, to help the displaced people and the host population.