Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

The World

Report Highlights Plight of Congo

June 17, 2003|From Reuters

UNITED NATIONS — More and more hungry Congolese children are wielding guns, rape and mutilation are on the increase and access to food, health care and education is rapidly deteriorating, according to a report by humanitarian and advocacy groups issued Monday.

Appealing to the U.N. Security Council to direct more attention toward children in Congo, key nongovernmental organizations have pooled their research and drawn on U.N. studies to highlight the plight of youngsters, especially in eastern Congo, where fighting has recently increased.

Anne Edgerton of Refugees International said 30,000 to 50,000 children have been recruited into Congo armies.

"These are children carrying guns," she said. In the past two years, Edgerton said, recruitment of boys and girls had spread from urban centers to villages in remote areas where "there are no international eyes."

Kathleen Hunt of CARE International said that at a minimum, the 4,600 U.N. peacekeepers in Congo should do more to monitor abuses against children.

Despite the arrival of 500 French troops last week, 48 people have been abducted in nighttime raids by tribal fighters and at least nine noncombatants have been killed, U.N. officials said Monday.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|