UNICEF condemns recent DRC violence and warns of tragic consequences for children

16 January 2023

KINSHASA, 16 JANUARY 2023 – UNICEF strongly condemns the latest attacks in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo as catastrophic for children.

On Sunday at least five children were among ten people killed in a bomb attack by an armed group on a Pentecostal church in Kasindi, in the east of the country. At the same time, violence is increasing in the northern part of Ituri province. “The latest round of violence is contemptible and underlines how the east of the DRC is an increasingly perilous place for children,” said UNICEF DRC Representative Grant Leaity.

Medics in Kasindi’s main hospital say at least 16 children were injured in the bombing, six of whom sustained serious wounds and 11 of whom were transferred to the nearby town of Beni for treatment. In total nearly 60 people were injured because of the blast, including nearly 40 women.

In the violence in Ituri, an upsurge of violence against the civilian population has resulted in huge displacements in the territories of Djugu, Mahagi and Aru, killed at least 22 people and resulted in at least 40 children being separated from their families. Most of those displaced were living in camps for Internally Displaced People and have been repeatedly forced to relocate.

Many have now headed to Rhoe camp – located on a remote hilltop close to the provincial capital Bunia – whose population has recently almost doubled to more than 115,000 people. In addition to reuniting separated children with their families, UNICEF and its partners are working urgently to deliver sanitation and essential goods such as kitchenware, tarpaulins and emergency healthcare to the IDPs.

“While we roundly condemn all violence against young people, we will not stop working around the clock to protect them and their families,” Mr Leaity said.

Media contacts

Sylvie Sona
UNICEF DRC
Tel: +243 81 70 96 215

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