Congo

UNICEF Denounces Women's Rights Violations In Congo

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Brazzaville, Congo (PANA) - UNICEF representative Aboudou Karimou Adjibade denounced Thursday in Brazzaville the rising violations against women and children's rights in Congo, particularly in the south-western regions where armed dissidents are still active.
In a speech during the annual review of the co-operation between Congo and UNICEF, Adjibade also raised concern over the "worsening health and nutritional situation of children and women due to massive displacements of populations."

Because of the ongoing violence, he said, school attendance has dropped together with the quality of education in the country.

"It is very regrettable to see that nowadays most social indicators, notably in the areas of education and health, are alarmingly low, while Congo used to have very good social indicators," the UNICEF official said.

"This situation results from armed conflicts which have destroyed the social balance," he added. "We can change the state of things if we make the necessary efforts."

He explained that "if nothing is done to change things, we will have contributed to creating citizens incapable of living together into the budding global village, where the order of the day is globalisation and information highways."

It is estimated that over 500,000 Congolese children cannot attend school, notably in the regions of Bouenza, Lekoumou, Niairi and Pool, where government troops have been battling militiamen loyal to ousted President Pascal Lissouba.

Meanwhile, the US humanitarian organisation, International Rescue Committee, has reported that about 2,000 cases of rape were recorded in the Bacongo and Makelekele areas of south Brazzaville.

On the other hand, malnutrition affects at least 23 percent of the 250,000 people who have taken refuge in forests in the Pool Region and the Democratic Republic of Congo to escape fighting between the national army and rebels.

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