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Rwanda: Mother and daughter reunited

28-11-2006 News Release 06/68

Gertrude, aged 18, was recently reunited with her mother after 10 years.

During the 1994 crisis in Rwanda, she was barely six when she was separated from her family and placed in a foster home in Goma (Democratic Republic of the Congo).

Thanks to Gertrude's memories and the information it had patiently gathered, a tracing team managed to find her mother in the vicinity of the capital, Kigali, as part of an ICRC programme to restore family links.

The ICRC delegation in Rwanda is pursuing its efforts to restore contact between several hundred Rwandan children in Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and other countries in the region and their relatives, from whom they were separated by the armed conflicts that have devastated the region in recent years.

On the basis of an agreement with Rwandan radio stations, the ICRC regularly broadcasts the names of these children in the hope that their relatives will recognize them. For most of the 292 children concerned, this radio campaign is their last chance of finding their families.

The children's names are broadcast on Radio Rwanda every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 4.05 p.m. on short wave (49 m) and FM (89.9 MHz, 99.30 MHz, 100.4 MHz). Radio Maria Rwanda also broadcasts them on 88.6 MHz, 97.3 MHz and 99.8 MHz.

In 2006 the ICRC enabled 93 Rwandan children to rejoin their families – 25 of them thanks to local radio stations.

For further information, please contact:
  Inah Kaloga, ICRC Kigali, tel. +250 577344 or +250 0830 5069
  Gad Niyomugabo, ICRC Kigali, tel. +250 577344 or +250 0852 2167
  Marco Yuri Jiménez Rodríguez, ICRC Geneva, tel. +41 22 730 22 71 or +41 79 217 32 17