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« Cœur sans frontières » Fraternity in Goma

 

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The conflict affects children and young people

12/12/2012: Dem. Rep. of the Congo

The Marist fraternity « Cœur sans frontières », of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (RDC), has sent a detailed report on the situation of suffering of  60 persons under the age of 18 affected physically and psychologically by the  violence unleashed especially in the city of  Goma at the end of November. The report was made by members of the fraternity present in Goma, who were able to observe the tragic situation of these children and young people personally. 

 

Situation of conflict in the East of the R.D. Congo and its impact on children’s rights

The situation of children in the city of Goma and all the territory of the province of North Kivu seems almost without resolution : murders, kidnappings, traumatism, abandonment in houses and streets, hunger, sexual violence… so many problems to which the children of North Kivu in general and those of the city of Goma, in particular, have been exposed from 18 to 28 November 2012. This situation puts the members of the fraternity Cœur Sans Frontières-RDC, present in Goma and in North Kivu, on the alert.

The war which broke out in Goma on Monday 19 November has caused the children much harm. Bullets, shells and bombs in certain quarters have killed a dozen children, and even if this estimate is an approximate one, « one child who dies unjustly is one too many ! ». That is why an  investigation has been carried out by the members of the CSF-RDC in Goma, recording with bitterness the results above, even if they do not take into account all the children affected by these upheavals.

It must also be mentioned that this war risks increasing infant mortality among those born prematurely, since the incubator machine in the provincial general hospital of Goma was wrecked by the rebel group during special operations.

It is urgent for the international community and the agencies for the  protection of human rights, as well as other organisations of protection to act without delay in order to avoid a dramatic worsening of the situation. It is advisable to :

1. Mobilise the government and humanitarian agencies for the assistance of the children and their families in the camps of Mugunga1, Mugunga2, Mugunga3, the Scout Centre in KATOYI, etc.  To help the host families and assist the populations of Goma, Rutshuru,  Nyiragongo and Masisi, for no one has been spared the horrors of the war.

2. Engage all the parties concerned to put an end to the war and to bring stability to the East of the RDC by the effective application of a ceasefire.

3. Educate the communities (during and after the movements of displacement) in notions of peace and pacific cohabitation, despite the general state of psychosis in the province, in order to avoid and warn against other relapses in the future.

4. Appeal on the international level to obtain funds for the children in a situation of crisis in North Kivu.

5. Insist that the United Nations become involved in the restoration of peace to the East of the RDC, and the effective application of the convention relative to the rights of the Child (CDE) on the one hand, and the application of resolution 1612 on the other.

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