Hundreds of families are risking their lives on rickety boats every day fleeing violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, mirroring Europe’s migration crisis.
They cross the dangerous waters of Lake Albert into Uganda in search of safety and respite from the violence.
Inter-communal fighting that erupted in northeastern Congo’s Ituri region in late 2017 has already forced almost 28,000 to escape across the lake. In total, about 44,000 Congolese have arrived in Uganda since the start of the year.
Refugees say many civilians have been killed and hundreds of homes burned to the ground. Newly arrived families in Uganda report that many more people are gathering on the Congolese side of Lake Albert, waiting for their chance to cross.
Intense fighting in multiple areas of DRC forced 1.7 million people from their homes in the past year alone – about 5,500 people per day. Today, the country is one of the worst conflict displacement affected countries in the world.