Children find lost families as Congo conflict rages

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MANONO, Democratic Republic of Congo (Reuters) – Jason Kandeke and his sister Esther bought out of the van and rushed into the arms of their weeping uncle and grandmother – the kids’s first contact with their household since Congolese fighters killed their dad and mom six years in the past.

Militias raided their village of Mingele in southeastern Democratic Republic of Congo – a area the place militia teams have clashed for years, preventing over land and assets.

Jason, now 12, and Esther, 14, each fled to a different village the place they had been taken in. Earlier this 12 months their carers had been additionally killed in one other assault.

A good friend handed their particulars onto the Red Cross, who managed to find their uncle, Jean Ilunga Kandeke, a whole lot of kilometres away within the city of Manono.

This week, they bought on a airplane with scores of different youngsters and flew to their new residence. Neighbours clustered spherical as they got here to their new entrance door.

“I’m actually pleased to be residence with my correct household. It was exhausting to lose my dad and mom and now I’m actually pleased with my uncle. I wish to go to highschool, research, be a traditional child,” Jason stated.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) stated it organised 11 flights between July 6-8 throughout the provinces of Tanganyika, Upper Katanga, North Kivu, East Kasai and Kinshasa.

In whole 83 youngsters, aged 5 to 19, had been reunited with their family members this week, some after years aside.

“This work takes appreciable time, however it’s completely important and invaluable, permitting us to offer solutions to individuals residing in anguish,” Florence Anselmo, head of the ICRC’s Central Tracing Agency, stated.

The variety of youngsters separated from their families continues to develop, significantly in North Kivu province the place the M23 insurgent group launched a renewed offensive in latest months, the ICRC stated.

(Reporting by Benoit Nyemba; Additional reporting and writing by Nellie Peyton; Editing by Andrew Heavens)



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