Ver Angola


Clashes in DRCongo force at least 150,000 people to flee in just a few days

The escalation of violence in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRCongo) has forced at least 150,000 people to move since February 2, of which 78,000 were children, according to the non-governmental organization Save the Children.


This increase in violence is due to "the intensification of fighting between the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC) and the terrorist group M23 (23 March Movement)", explained the non-governmental organization (NGO) Save the Children through of a press release.

Save the Children indicated that there are reports from parents who say that their children were separated from them during episodes of violence, but stressed that the number of "lost children" is unknown.

"Families are seeking refuge in displacement camps, churches, schools and host families, with thousands of people moving in search of safety in Goma", the capital of North Kivu province, explained the NGO.

The use of artillery, drones and explosives in eastern DRCongo, a country that borders Angola, is killing and injuring civilians and damaging and destroying essential infrastructure, he said.

According to local press sources cited in the NGO's statement, 19 people were killed and 27 injured due to the violence, including three girls. A market was hit on February 7 and ammunition also fell in a school yard and near a hospital.

"Children in eastern DRCongo are living yet another nightmare. The weekend's abrupt violence separated children from their families and forcibly took them from their homes", declared the national director of Save the Children in DRCongo , Greg Ramm.

This region has suffered persistent violence, with children growing up in an incessant cycle of death, destruction and displacement, according to the NGO director in the country.

"DRC's children are not only witnessing the horrors of conflict, they are also being recruited into violent armed groups, facing catastrophic hunger and suffering sexual abuse. Urgent and resolute action is imperative to break the cycle of suffering in these lives innocent", concluded the director.

All schools in the area remain closed, the NGO said.

"DRCongo has long suffered from repeated cycles of refugee influxes, conflicts and unrest. Currently, more than 25 million people urgently need humanitarian aid to survive and more than seven million are displaced", recalled the NGO.

The current wave of violence follows the "tumultuous" year of 2023, "when the intensification of fighting in the east of the country between various groups displaced more than a million people, including at least 500,000 children", he said.

At the end of 2023, North Kivu alone had more than 2.4 million internally displaced people, according to data from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) cited by the NGO.


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