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MILITIA ON RAMPAGE: 150 North Kivu Schools Attacked 18 Of Which Are Turned Into Rebel Bases

About 150 schools in North Kivu, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) were either attacked or destroyed by armed groups since the start of the year.

In North Kivu, nearly a million people have been internally displaced throughout the course of 2022 as a result of violent conflict in the area.

Worse off are the country’s children, as the conflict has been raging in some regions of the country for close to three decades.

As such, there’s little hope in the affected communities that international intervention would be of any meaningful assistance.

This is despite a resolution made by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) on Monday during the Extraordinary Organ Troika Summit in Windhoek, Namibia, that its Force Intervention Brigade deployed under the UN will first undertake a fact-finding mission before deciding on a response to the crisis.

Save the Children, a UK non-profit organisation documented the story of Alphonsine (*not her real name) a 13-year-old girl from the North Kivu village of Nyiragongo, who fled six months ago.

She now lives in a camp for displaced people. She told of how the militia vandalised her school and turned it into a military base.

She told Save the Nation:

“One day I met our school headmaster and two of my friends in the camp. The headmaster said that our school was destroyed by bombs. The armed people occupying our school took away the doors and windows to sell them. The headmaster told us that we will take over the school only when the war stops.”

The destruction affects work done by Save the Nation which is tasked with school building repairs, teacher training, providing school kits, menstrual hygiene items, and cash transfers for vulnerable families.

Four of the schools supported by the aid agency have been affected.

A teacher in one of the schools also interviewed by Save the Nation told how the militia used school desks and doors as firewood.

“All the wooden school materials and benches were used as firewood by the armed groups that occupied our school,” he said.

Data from the UN International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) states that since the beginning of January, armed groups have targeted over 150 schools in North Kivu, disrupting the education of over 62 000 children.

UNICEF also revealed that armed groups presently control 18 schools, while 113 schools are being temporarily used as shelters for internally displaced persons.

CREDIT: News24

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