KINSHASA/Goma, May 22, 2012 – Around 20 children are reported among victims of recent violence in North and South Kivu in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). UNICEF condemns acts of violence that target children and calls on all parties to respect the rights of women and children.
Among those reported murdered are: Two children burnt alive in their house along with two adults in Tanzanya, Grouping of Unfamandu 1, Masisi, North Kivu Province on 9 May; nine children killed in the massacre of 37 people in Kamananga, while six children and two pregnant women were among the 32 civilians killed in Lumendje, Bunyakiri Territory in South Kivu on 13 May; two children and nine adults killed at Chambucha, in Walikale in North Kivu on border with South Kivu on 17 May.
Such acts of inhumanity breach the Law on child protection adopted in June 2008 and promulgated by the DRC in January 2009, and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child signed by the DRC.
In accordance with Articles 6 and 19 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, every child has the inherent right to life, and all measures must be taken to protect the child against all forms of violence, injury or physical or mental violence.
UNICEF calls for those responsible for these actions to be tried and punished by the appropriate authorities and reminds all parties of their direct responsibility to protect the lives of children and all other civilians caught up in conflict. Barbara Bentein, UNICEF Representative in DR Congo
UNICEF works in 190 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: http://www.unicef.org/
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For more information, please contact:
Cornelia Walther, Chief of Communication UNICEF DRC/Kinshasa,
Tel +243 (0) 81 884 676
Ndiaga Seck, Communication Specialist UNICEF Eastern DRC/Goma,
Tel + 243 (0) 818 305 933,