UN calls for an end to the violence in the Kasai provinces

 UN calls for an end to the violence in the Kasai provinces
2 Jun 2017

UN calls for an end to the violence in the Kasai provinces

Kinshasa, 2nd June 2017 – The crisis in the Kasaï provinces, situated at the center of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has a disastrous impact on the local communities. The United Nations is seriously concerned by the continuing crisis and its impact on the populations’ survival. More than one million people are currently displaced due to the violence plaguing that part of the DRC. Most of them live in deplorable conditions, with no access to health care, food or safe-drinking water.  

The instability and violence have an impact on the functioning of basic services. Health centers are destroyed during the clashes and can no longer be supplied with drugs. Medical staff can no longer report to work and communities can no longer access their health centers. In the Kasaï Central province, one in three health centers is no longer operating. Moreover, 639 elementary and secondary schools were either destroyed or attacked by militia in the Kasaï Central and Kasaï provinces. In some cases, teachers were directly targeted. The United Nations estimates that more than 35 000 children were affected by the attacks, occupations and closures of schools due to external threats. 

”United Nations strongly condemns the attacks and calls on the parties involved in the violence in the Kasai provinces to respect health centers and schools as zones of peace,” stressed the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General in Congo, Maman Sidikou.

Children are disproportionately affected by the conflict. They are exposed to extreme risks of violence. The United Nations have documented over 500 cases where children, girls and boys are used as combatants or human shields by the militia, resulting in a significant number of victims during the clashes between the militia and the security forces. This year, at least 58 children have been killed and 46 injured by the conflict in the province.

Child recruitment and their use as human shields by the militia groups is an unacceptable violation of the children’s rights and must stop immediately. Perpetrators of such acts must be brought before court,” reiterated the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General in DRC, Maman Sidikou.

The United Nations highlights that the protection of civilians is a core concern expressed throughout the adoption of the International and national legal instruments. Therefore, he calls on defense and security forces to act in accordance with the principles of international humanitarian law and other legal instruments, and respect the proportional use of force in the fight against militia groups.


For information on the country task force and the Joint Technical Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict, Florence Marchal, United Nations Office, marchalf@un.org; +243 99 70 68 804