At least 7 500 Congolese refugees have arrived in Uganda since the start of this month, placing strain on already badly overstretched facilities, according to the UN refugee agency.

UNHCR says renewed clashes between opposing Hema and Lendu groups in north-eastern parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are driving people across the border into Uganda at a rate of 311 a day, more than double the rate of refugee arrivals in May – 145 per day.

Armed groups are said to be attacking villages, torching and looting houses, and killing men, women and children.

Most people are fleeing to Uganda via Lake Albert from Ituri province, where displacements since early this month are now estimated at 300 000.

In Uganda, transit and reception facilities are overwhelmed.

UNHCR says the agency has only received US$150 million, 17% of the total US$927 million needed.