Insecurity in the east

DR Congo’s eastern provinces along the border with Uganda and Rwanda – Ituri, Nord Kivu and South Kivu – have witnessed some of the worst conflict over the last two decades.

Conflict crosses borders

BarbwireDuring the 1994 Rwandan genocide, terrified Rwandans poured across the border to escape the massacres. Many then fled the other way during the more recent conflicts of the DR Congo. Some of these conflicts have involved groups of fighters originally from Rwanda.

Even today, fighting flares up easily in these regions between different armed groups. UN peacekeeping troops struggle to keep a lid on the violence, caused by a mixture of historical grievances and economic interest.

Many children have been left orphaned or extremely vulnerable in this part of the DR Congo. The SOS Children’s Village at Bukavu (on the southern shore of Lake Kivu in South Kivu province) is used to taking in youngsters who have been traumatised by their experiences.

Recently, the SOS Children's Village at Bukava took in three siblings – a seven year-old, a four year-old and a newborn – after their mother died. The seven year-old girl had not been able to attend school and had survived on little food. So when she arrived to see the Village and a party was thrown for her, she was overawed with happiness. The girl and her siblings are now living at the Village and what pleases her most is that she has a “house and mom”, something every child deserves in their life.