Congo, 83 children reunited with their familie

Kalemie (DRC)- an ICRC mission has finally been able to reunite 83 children with their families, which were separated due to armed conflicts.

The children had lost contact with their loved ones as a result of armed conflict and violence in the south-east of the country. Some had been apart from their families for more than three years.  This major operation is the culmination of more than 20,000 searches that were initiated between 2019 and 2021. The search process was quite protracted in some areas due to logistics and security concerns."For all these families, it is an enormous relief to have their children back after a desperate wait," said the head of ICRC sub-delegation in Kalemie, Maya El Hage.

During the operation, which took place between 6-8 July, the ICRC plane made 11 separate trips to take the children to their families, who were waiting in towns across the provinces of Tanganyika, Upper Katanga, North Kivu, East Kasai and Kinshasa. The operation's success was almost palpable in the town of Manono, where 53 families were reunited with their children. Since the beginning of the year, the ICRC has recorded several hundred cases of children losing contact with their families as a result of conflict and violence, mostly in eastern DRC. There has been a sharp rise in the number of cases, particularly in North Kivu because of renewed violence in Rutshuru Territory. In the past six months alone, nearly 200 children from the DRC have been reunited with their families, and between 2017 and 2021, more than 2,500 children were returned to their loved ones.

 

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by Viola Rubeca

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