With hopeful signs of improved security in some parts of North Kivu,many Congolese who are returning home are doing so cautiously and withlittle assistance. Displaced people told Refugees International that they were going home because they can now access their fields to farm. However, it will take time to revitalize their harvest, and to rebuild homes destroyed in the conflict.
There remains as well the looming threat that fighting will erupt again - most of those who have not yet returned cited the poor security in their home areas as the reason they remain in the displacement sites and camps. More support will be needed for those who are going home. At the same time, humanitarian assistance will need to be flexible to respond to new displacements and to the needs of those who choose to not return.
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Kirolirwe internal displacement site: Assistance to the site decreased in 2009, and as more and more people return home, abandoned huts fall into disrepair.Kirolirwe internal displacement site: Those who remain are too scared to go home. A camp leader told RI: "If people have returned, it means there is peace there."Kibati II displacement site: The majority of displaced people in Kibati II said they won’t return because of the presence of armed groups in their home areas.Kibati II displacement site: Many people told RI they are especially scared of the CNDP integrated soldiers, who forced them to flee in the first place.Displacement site next to MONUC Kiwanja base: This woman said she won’t return home because it’s not safe, but she struggles to get enough assistance for her family in the site.Returnees in Rugari: Even though these women have not received return assistance, they said they prefer to be home where they can live on their own land.