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Democratic Republic of the Congo: Children reunited with families

01-07-2004 News Release 04/78

On 23 and 24 June, an ICRC aircraft made two flights to bring a total of 37 children – including six demobilized child-soldiers – back to their families.

The process started with 11 youngsters flying from the capital Kinshasa to Goma. The next day, 26 others made the trip in the opposite direction. The children, ranging in age from four to 17, were then reunited with members of their families after being separated for years because of the war. This return caused great joy.

Working in conjunction with volunteers from Congo’s Red Cross Society, ICRC staff had registered these children, traced their parents and facilitated contact between them through the network of Red Cross messages (brief, personal messages to relatives made unreachable by war) that has been operating around the country for many years. Families are reunited on a strictly voluntary basis.

Since the beginning of the year, almost 600 unaccompanied children and over 150 demobilized child soldiers across the country have been reunited with their loved ones.

    

 For further information, please contact:  

 Anna Schaaf or Dominique Liengme, ICRC Goma, tel. +250 0830 0461  

 Marco Jiménez Rodríguez, ICRC Geneva, tel. +41 22 730 22 71