Jason Kandeke and his sister Esther get out of the car into the arms of their crying uncle and grandmother, the first time the children and their families have been together since their parents were killed by Congolese soldiers six years ago.
Troops raided the town of Mingele in the southeast Democratic Republic of Congo, an area where a group of militants have been fighting for years, fighting for land and infrastructure.
Jason, now 12, and Esther, 14, fled the country. Last year, their caregivers were also killed in another attack.
A friend gave their details to the Red Cross, who managed to find their uncle, Jean Ilunga Kandeke, hundreds of miles from the town of Manono.
This week they boarded a plane with several other children and flew to their new home. Neighbors gathered as they approached the door of their new home.
“I am so happy to be home with my real family. It was hard to leave my parents, but now I am happy with my uncle. I want to go to school, study, be a normal kid, ”Jason said.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said it had organized 11 flights between July 6-8 across the Tanganyika, Upper Katanga, North Kivu, East Kasai and Kinshasa regions.
A total of 83 children, aged 5 to 19, were reunited with their relatives this week, sometimes after years apart.
Florence Anselmo, head of the ICRC’s Central Tracing Agency, said, “This work is time-consuming, but very important and useful, allowing us to respond to those who are suffering.”
The number of children separated from their families continues to grow, especially in the North Kivu region where M23 rebel groups have begun to retaliate in recent months, the ICRC said.
Children find missing families as DRC conflict erupts – SABC News
Source link Children find missing families as DRC conflict erupts – SABC News