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BREAKING NEWS: About 78,000 children displaced as fighting escalates in Congo DR – Save the Children International, SCI

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Save the Children International, SCI, has said that the renewed fighting between the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, FARDC, and M23, a non-state armed group, has displaced at least 150,000 people, more than half of them children, since 2nd February, 2024.……CONTINUE READING>>>

It added that the escalating violence in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC, has forced at least 78,000 children to flee their homes in the past week.

The DRC has long suffered from repeated cycles of influx of refugees, conflicts and unrest, with more than 25 million people in dire need of humanitarian aid to survive and over seven million displaced.

SCI in a statement issued Friday said the current wave of violence follows a tumultuous year of heightened outbreaks of conflict in 2023, when intensified fighting in the east of the country between various groups displaced more than 1 million people, including at least 500,000 children.

It added that by the end of 2023, North Kivu alone had more than 2.4 million people internally displaced, according to the UNHCR.

SCI Country Director in DRC, Greg Ramm said: “The renewed fighting between the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (FARDC) and M23, a non-state armed group, has displaced at least 150,000 people, more than half of them children, since 2 February.

“Parents have reported that many children have been separated in the violence, although the number of lost children is unknown.

“Families are seeking refuge in displacement camps, churches, schools and with host families, with thousands now on the road looking for safety in Goma, the province’s capital.

“The use of artillery, drones, and explosives in eastern DRC is killing and injuring civilians and damaging and destroying essential infrastructure, said Save the Children.”

Ramm noted that local media sources said 19 people have been killed and 27 others injured in the violence, including three young girls.

He said media reports added that a market was hit on 7 February, and munitions also landed inside a school courtyard and close to a hospital.

Ramm added: “Children in eastern DRC are living through yet another nightmare. Abrupt violence on the weekend has separated children from their families and forcibly torn them away from their homes.

“Families are now seeking refuge in schools, churches, and hospitals, hoping they won’t get caught in the crossfire. Meanwhile, host families, already stretched thin, are stepping up amid this deepening crisis.

“This 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.”.…CONTINUE. FULL. READING>>>

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