Five hundred and forty-four cases of the violation of the rights of children within the context of the armed conflict in the country, have been registered in the Democratic Republic of Congo within the last three months.
According to a communiqué issued by the Child Protection Section of the United Nations Organisation Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo, within the past three months, 380 cases of recruitment of child soldiers by various armed groups, 52 cases of abduction of children, 24 murders committed against children and 16 mutilations of children were confirmed.
Also registered, according to the communiqué, were 60 cases of sexual violence against children, two attacks against schools and training centres and eight attacks against hospitals between August and September 2020.
In his own report covering the period between June 17 and September 18, 2020, the United Nations Organisation Secretary General, Antonio Gueterres, painted a bleak picture of the situation of children in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
He, however, noted that there was a silver lining in the horizon showing that the leaders of an armed group active in Tanganyika, the Apa Na Pale-Bilenge, group and another which has been operating in North Kivu, the Nyatura Jean Marie group, have signed unilateral declarations towards preventing and stopping the recruitment of children into armed combat and other serious violations of the rights of the child.
Thanks to these two accords, seven children have been voluntarily released by the Apa Na Pale-Bilenge group and 31 others by the Nyatura Jean Marie group.
In August, 33 armed groups signed engagements involving the voluntary release of 2,007 children held captive by various armed groups either as child soldiers or sex slaves.
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