Kids again bear brunt of Congolese conflict


DRC children in desperate need of safety and protection

from JEAN KASSONGO in Kinshasa, DRC
DRC Bureau
KINSHASA, (CAJ News) – RENEWED fighting between the army and rebel groups east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has forced at least 78 000 children to flee their homes in the past week.

Children are bearing the brunt and as statistics indicate, constitute more than half the 150 000 people that have been displaced since February 2.

Three girls are among 19 people that have been killed in the violence occurring in the North Kivu province.

“Children in eastern DRC are living through yet another nightmare,” lamented Greg Ramm, Save the Children Country Director in DRC.

“Abrupt violence on the weekend has separated children from their families and forcibly torn them away from their homes,” he added.

Families are now seeking refuge in schools, churches and hospitals. Thousands are now on the road looking for safety in Goma, the province’s capital.

Ramm said the region has endured persistent violence, with children growing up in a relentless cycle of death, destruction and displacement.

Children in the DRC are not only witnessing the horrors of conflict but are also being recruited into violent armed groups, facing catastrophic hunger and enduring sexual abuse.

“Urgent and resolute action is imperative to break the cycle of suffering for these innocent lives,” Ramm said.

The envoy said the rights and well-being of children across DRC must be prioritised.

“Children cannot continue to be caught in the crossfire,” Ramm added.

The DRC has long suffered from repeated cycles of influx of refugees, conflicts and unrest.

More than 25 million people are in dire need of humanitarian aid. Over 7 million are displaced.

– CAJ News

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