Delphine Marie, a spokeswoman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) told reporters in Geneva that the Diocèse de Mahagi would dispatch a team to the village of Biringi, where some of the 17,000 Sudanese refugees who fled last week’s fighting between rival rebel groups are now beginning to trickle back. Working on UNHCR’s behalf, the team will evaluate possible casualties among the local and refugee populations.UNHCR’s own staff based in Aru, 80 kilometres east of Biringi near the border with Uganda, have not been able to travel to the refugee sites because of security concerns. “Although there is no fighting along the Aru-Biringi main road, heavy military presence is reported and the roads are still unsafe,” Ms. Marie said.While the fighting has apparently moved to the west of Biringi, UNHCR remains concerned about the overall security situation in the northeast, where there are some 75,000 Sudanese refugees.Clashes between rebels of the Congolese Patriotic Union/Popular Rally (UPC-RP) and ethnic Lendu militias first started in Biringi over a week ago. The refugee settlement was “overrun by the UPC-RP rebels who caused panic and drove more than 14,500 refugees in Biringi, along with locals, into the bush,” the spokeswoman reported.Last Thursday, further fighting between the two groups shifted the conflict to the nearby refugee settlement of Ayamba, on the outskirts of Biringi, causing another 2,500 Sudanese refugees and staff of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working with UNHCR to flee as Lendu militias looted the settlement, the agency said.
Madeleine McCann, who was allegedly abducted on May 3, 2007Credit:REAL MADRID TV/HANDOUT Kate and Gerry McCannCredit:Niall Carson/PA Wire This came seven months after the investigation team was scaled back drastically to just four officers.Earlier this month, the Sunday Mirror also reported that forensic investigations by the team had ended.Madeleine vanished at the age of three while on holiday with her parents in Portugal in 2007 and, despite a high-profile international hunt, no trace has ever been found.Hopes were high when the UK investigation into the little girl’s disappearance was launched in 2011, with Scotland Yard detectives later highlighting a sex offender who had targeted British families with young children staying in villas in the same area where Madeleine was last seen.Despite no obvious progress since then, earlier this year the head of Scotland Yard’s murder squad, Detective Chief Superintendent Mick Duthie, remained optimistic.He said: “There is ongoing work. There is always a possibility that we will find Madeleine and we hope that we will find her alive.” A force spokesman said: “Whilst there remains outstanding work on this case, the Metropolitan Police Service will remain in dialogue with the Home Office regarding the continuation of funding.”The British investigation, Operation Grange, was expected to be wound up after Scotland Yard boss Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said in May that British investigators had one remaining line of inquiry to follow and unless any new evidence came to light the probe would finish. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Detectives investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann have “outstanding work” left to do on the inquiry and may apply for more Home Office funding.In April, then-home secretary Theresa May granted the team £95,000 to keep the investigation going, with the cash expected to last until October.On Wednesday, Scotland Yard said it would talk to the Home Office about funding.