Protect children exposed to gruesome violence in DRC's Kasai region

As the violence in Kasai continues, children continue to suffer the most, being exposed to horrid violence.

Thousands of children have been either forcibly recruited or tricked into fighting in the armed conflict by armed groups such as the Kamuena Nsapu. A military campaign launched by the government against the Kamuena Nsapu insurgency has cost thousands of lives and has displaced more than a million people, some within the Kasai region and others crossing into Angola.

Children, as young as 11, who spoke to our researchers in 2017, told stories of gruesome abuses including being forced to participate in the combat, sustaining injuries from bullets. They also said they were forced by Kamuena Nsapu leaders to drink mystic fluids, supposedly in order to protect them against bullets during combat.

According to United Nations agencies, the humanitarian crisis resulting from the conflict is worsening as more than 700,000 children are malnourished and need urgent assistance to recover from acute malnutrition.

The DRC government must act now to protect children from use in armed forces and other abuses by all parties involved in the conflict.

Send an urgent message to President Félix Antoine Tshisekedi to protect the children in Kasai, DRC.