Minors at most risk in DRC bloodshed

DRC refugeesFrom JEAN KASSONGO in Kinshasa, DRC
KINSHASA, (CAJ News) – THE bloody clashes in the Kasai region of the Democratic Republic of Congo are having a devastating impact on children with six million minors at risk due to extreme violence.
This includes 600 000 already displaced from their homes.
Some 2 000 children are being used by the militias in the affected region, at least 300 minors have been seriously injured and more than 4 000 have been separated from their families.
The violence has also had a disturbing impact on education and health systems in the region where more than 350 schools have been destroyed.
In the Province of Kasaï Central, one in three health centers are no longer functional, putting children at an increased risk of disease.
Hundreds of children have been detained, raped, and even executed.
“This horrific abuse of children cannot be allowed to continue, and perpetrators must be held to account,” Dr Tajudeen Oyewale, the United Nations representative in the DRC, said.
“These children should be safe in their homes, schools and playgrounds, not forced to fight on the battlefield or wounded or killed in the violence.”
Violence and instability in the Kasai provinces, among the poorest regions of the country, began in August 2016 after a traditional leader was killed in fighting with security forces.
It deteriorated further during the first three months of 2017. Government forces have been accused of mass killings.
UN is appealing for funding to cushion victims of the Kasai violence but the response from donors has been lukewarm.
To date, the organisation has only received US$3,5 million (45 million) of the $20,6 million needed to respond to the crisis.
CAJ News

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Posted by on Apr 25 2017. Filed under Featured. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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