Democratic Republic of Congo

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Fri
02
Dec

Silent victims of violence: 4m kids orphaned in DRC

 More than 4 million children have lost at least one parent in the Democratic Republic of Congo over the past two decades, the silent victims of continuous cycles of violence.

And more than 26 million orphans live in West and Central Africa, where DRC is located — the second highest number in the world behind South Asia, according to the United Nations.

These children have grown up amid conflict fueled by ethnic strife and the fight over valuable minerals. The violence and displacement are eroding the tradition of families caring for their own.

Read the full article here.

This is an article by Associated Press which appears on News24.

Mon
24
Oct

Girl Soldiers: Forgotten Casualties of War

 

As secretary of State, Hillary Clinton was visibly shaken by sexual crimes against women and girls when she visited the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in 2009. Sexual crimes in this central African country, known as the “rape capital of the world,” include the sexual exploitation of tens of thousands of girls abducted and trapped as child soldiers. Nonetheless, since 2010, President Obama has waived a congressionally mandated ban on military aid to countries known to exploit child soldiers, among them the DRC.

Thu
13
Oct

How much is child soldier's lost youth worth? ICC asks

AFP

The Hague - "How do you calculate a lost childhood?" That was the question on Tuesday before war crimes judges trying to set the amount of landmark reparations to be paid to former Congolese child soldiers.

After years of hearings, trials and appeals before the International Criminal Court (ICC), the victims of former Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga are "tired of this battle", said lawyer Luc Walleyn.

Read full article here.

This is an article by the AFP which appears on News24

Photo: Julien Harneis

 

Wed
14
Oct

Former child soldier brings his story to kids in graphic novel

By: May Warren

Michel Chikwanine, a former child soldier, has collaborated on a new graphic novel about his experiences.

Abducted at age 5 from his school’s soccer field, Michel Chikwanine was forced to do unimaginable things as a child soldier in Zaire, now the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Now a 27-year-old African studies student at the University of Toronto, Chikwanine has co-authored a new graphic novel about his experiences called Child Soldier: When Boys and Girls are Used in War, aimed at kids 10 to 14.

Chikwanine, who wrote the book with Jessica Dee Humphreys, said he hopes it will help young people understand what being a child soldier means.

Thu
03
Sep

Congolese child soldiers to give evidence against ‘warlord’ Bosco Ntaganda at The Hague

By Aislinn Laing, The Telegraph

Children allegedly co-opted to fighting over mineral wealth in the Democratic Republic of Congo among witnesses lined up in bid by International Criminal Court to secure rare conviction

Scores of Congolese child soldiers are due to give evidence at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the coming weeks against a man nicknamed The Terminator and held up as one of Africa's most brutal and feared warlords.

Wed
21
Jan

Bleak refugee camp life leads children to join armed groups

(Mweso) January 20, 2015 — "I joined twice, because I had nothing to do," explains Pierre, a 17-year-old former child solider in the Democratic Republic of Congo. "The first time was in 2006. The recruiters in the camp promised me food, a job, and a military career. It didn't take much to get me to go into the bush and try my luck."

A humanitarian organization found Pierre two years later and sent back him back to a camp for the internally displaced persons (IDPs). When asked which organization, Pierre shrugs, "white people."

Read the rest of the article at Jesuit Refugee Service

Wed
17
Dec

Documentary: Moving on – Surviving Lord Resistance Army

Trigger warning: this video includes footage of people talking about abuse against children, murder and abduction.

Moving on – Surviving Lord Resistance Army is an intimate and honest documentary on what it means for children and youth to be forced into cruel situations. The documentary demonstrates the need for children to process their experiences, to find a way of living and their deep wish to contribute to a better society and future for all.

Annette Giertsen - Monday 2 June 2014

Documentary: Moving on – Surviving Lord Resistance Army
Thu
13
Nov

Abductions by Uganda's LRA rebels on the rise – UN

Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army rebels have launched a string of attacks across central Africa with a "steady increase" in abductions, the United Nations said in a report seen Thursday.

The elusive jungle insurgents, who raid villages and enslave residents, have abducted 432 people so far this year, a "steady increase" from last year and more than double the number in 2012, the report by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) read.

Those captured, often children, are forced to work as fighters, sex slaves or porters.

Long driven out of Uganda, small bands of LRA fighters now roam forest regions of Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan and South Sudan, launching over 150 attacks and killing at least 22 people this year.

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