AFRICA/DRC - Two hundred thousand children at risk in armed conflicts in Goma

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - In the two Congolese provinces of Kivu there are more than 1 million 600 thousand internally displaced persons (IDPs). The recent arrival of the rebels of the M23 in the eastern city of Goma has raised great concern about the humanitarian consequences in a region already plagued by armed conflicts, displacement and attacks against civilians. One of the major worries of humanitarian agencies in the region concerns 60 000 residents of the refugee camp of Kanyarucinya, in the north of Goma, just before the M23 group reached the outskirts of the city. The camp is one of the five scattered around Goma, which has a total population of approximately 95,000 people. The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) and Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) has issued a warning for displaced children who are faced with an increased risk of rape, abuse and recruitment. The young refugee children, particularly males in North Kivu, are particularly vulnerable to recruitment by armed groups. According to the NGO World Vision, about 200 000 minors are at risk in Goma. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 04/12/2012)