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Democratic Republic of the Congo: major family reunification operation

30-01-2003 News Release

Goma (ICRC) – On 29 and 30 January the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) carried out a major operation to reunite separated family members.

A total of 140 children between one and 17 years of age were flown from Goma to Kinshasa on board a Boeing 737 specially chartered by the ICRC for the occasion. All the children were reunited with their families, from whom they had been separated for several months - – or several years in some cases – owing to the conflict. The purpose of the operation was to remedy one of the many tragic consequences of armed conflict: the dispersal of members of the same family.

The ICRC is working in close cooperation with volunteers of the Red Cross Society of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to find the families of unaccompanied children throughout the country. The subsequent reunification operations are carried out both in the areas controlled by the government and in those held by the armed opposition.

Last year the ICRC reunited more than 400 children with their parents in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a country devastated by several years of war.

 Further information:  

 Elizabeth Twinch, ICRC Goma, tel. ++250 083 03 655