However the current context of renewed fighting and serious challenges in the

However the current context of renewed fighting and

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partners. However, the current context of renewed fighting and serious challenges in the peace process since late August 2008 is hampering access to armed groups for such advocacy. Challenges encountered during the mixage and brassage processes are being addressed by child protection networks in the framework of the Amani programme. One such concern is the risk of minors, typically between the ages of 15 and17 years, being integrated into the national army. During the reporting period, 75 children were repatriated through the disarmament, demobilization, repatriation, resettlement or reintegration programme to their countries of origin. Among these children were 44 who had been associated with FDLR, 18 with CNDP, 7 with FARDC, 4 with Mayi-Mayi groups and 2 with LRA. Only a small number of girls have been released through the mixage and brassage processes, often because of lack of cooperation of commanders. Some commanders do not recognize their obligations to release female children, and the girls themselves are often not aware of their rights or the options available to them. They also fear stigmatization and exclusion upon return to their community. As a result, many girls have left the armed forces and groups by their own means, having escaped or having been abandoned by their units during the movement of troops. If they do not go through the official disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programme, it is more difficult to identify these girls once they are back in their communities in order for them to benefit from reintegration support programmes. Insecurity in many areas and concerns of re-recruitment continued to hamper child protection partners in family tracing, reunification and reintegration of children separated from armed forces and groups, especially in North Kivu. Finally, there is lack of financial support needed in the DRC. Although UNICEF and NGO partners on the ground have identified the principles to help reintegration, donor response to their efforts has not always been forthcoming. In a recent survey, 67 per cent of donors stated that they were reluctant to support such programmes that rest on the development of the community. ‘The international community is quick to respond to emergency funding requests, but the reintegration of children falls into the fault line between emergency assistance and development assistance’. It is important for the donor community to appreciate the special needs of the children and for timely and sustained resources to be provided to child protection partners so that they may do their work more efficiently. Thanks to a contribution to the Pooled Fund for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and funds from the Central Emergency Revolving Fund, 14,168 children have been supported for reintegration activities, among which 10,086 were 9
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formerly associated with armed forces and groups, 8,000 of which are from eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo xx .
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  • Summer '16
  • Ramon Wawire
  • United Nations , Democratic Republic of the Congo

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