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Democratic Republic of the Congo: ICRC reunites 45 children with their parents

24-03-2003 News Release 03/30

ICRC staff based in Goma have reunited 45 unaccompanied children with their families. The children aged between 6 and 17 had been separated from their relatives for several months or in some cases years owing to the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

An ICRC aircraft was used to fly the children between the eastern and western parts of the country. On Thursday 20 March, 17 children were flown from Goma to Kinshasa, where 28 other children boarded the same aircraft the next day to return to their families in Goma and the eastern provinces.

Family reunifications are organized on a strictly voluntary basis and in cooperation with the National Society. They respond to one of the greatest causes of humanitarian concern in any armed conflict: the separation of family members. Since the beginning of the year, the ICRC has already reunited more than 240 Congolese children with their parents.

 Further information: Carlo Piccinini, ICRC Goma, tel. ++250 083 00 461