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Escalating Violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo

GSF has issued a statement on the situation the DRC.

Escalating Violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Photo by aboodi vesakaran / Unsplash

The Global Student Forum (GSF)  is deeply concerned by the escalating violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), particularly in the country’s eastern regions, and the potential threat of open conflict with Rwanda. Amidst this turmoil, following the resignation of Prime Minister Jean-Michel Sama Lukonde and the dissolution of the government, the rights and safety of students and their access to education are at unprecedented risk.

The recent intensification of clashes between the DRC’s army and the M23 Tutsi-led rebels, supported by external forces, has not only jeopardized the lives of countless individuals but has also significantly disrupted the education of students. Schools have become collateral damage in a conflict that threatens to draw in regional forces, further endangering the well-being and prospects of young people. Even in cases, in which schooling infrastructure has not been directly affected, the displacement of students constitutes further breaches to the right to education.

The GSF stands in solidarity with the All-Africa Students Union (ASSU) and calls for immediate action to ensure their safety and the continuation of their education. Education is a fundamental human right that must be protected, even in times of conflict. The international community, alongside local and regional stakeholders, must prioritize the protection of students and educational institutions, ensuring that learning can continue unabated.

We urge all parties involved in the conflict to respect international laws and norms that safeguard civilians, especially students, and educational facilities from acts of violence. The GSF also supports a regional mediation process, as echoed by international voices, to bring an end to the violence and establish a lasting peace in the region.

Communication team profile image Communication team
The Communication team curates Global Student Forums' digital content and prepares publications. It is a small, dedicated team from around the world.