UNICEF denounced on Saturday, an attack that killed 16 people, including five girls under age 15, in north eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
According to UN-verified reports, the attack took place on 3 June in Moussa, a village in the Djugu area, north of the Ituri Province capital Bunia.
The victims were all formerly displaced persons who had returned to the village. After the gunfire and knife attack, dozens have fled to seek shelter in neighbouring villages.
Ituri in crosshairs
Since the beginning of the year, ongoing violence in the Ituri Province has taken the lives of over 300 people.
And more than 200,000 individuals, mostly children, have fled intensifying violence in Djugu, Mahagi and Irumu areas in Ituri Province, seeking shelter in host communities and extremely overcrowded displacement sites in and around Bunia.
Moreover, UNICEF has received some 100 allegations of serious child rights violations, such as rape, killing and maiming, in addition to attacks on schools and health centres during April and May alone.
Last month the UN specialized agency warned of the quickly deteriorating security situation there and urged the DRC Government and international community to act urgently to avert a crisis that would forcibly uproot and endanger even more children.
“We call on all parties to respect the rights of women and children”, upheld the UNICEF Representative.