News and Press Release

Source: MINUSCA | Posted: 12 Nov 2022 | Originally published: 12 Nov 2022 | Origin: View original


In the Ouandja-Kotto sub-prefecture, located in the Haute-Kotto prefecture, more than 800 kilometers from Bangui, children can once again go to school after a 16-year hiatus. The return of school to this locality in October 2022 was made possible after the deployment of MINUSCA forces in the area.

For 16 years therefore, in this sub-prefecture of about 12,000 inhabitants, some children were forcibly recruited by armed groups, others used in the fields and mining sites; still others, mainly girls, were forced into marriage. A situation that prevented thousands of children in this sub-prefecture from accessing education until very recently, after the deployment of MINUSCA forces, as explained by the sub-prefect, Malick Adoum :

“Since 2006, the sub-prefecture was governed by armed groups and thanks to MINUSCA, which deployed forces to deter these armed groups, the population is beginning to go about its business freely and schools are also beginning to operate. »

As part of the prevention of 6 serious violations of the Rights of the Child, MINUSCA is carrying out several activities in Ouandja-Kotto. Through its Child Protection Section, it sensitizes the various local actors on the Rights of the Child in order to encourage them to assume their responsibilities for the future of the latter.

The Section visited the locality from October 28 to November 02, 2022 and distributed school supplies to more than 2,000 elementary and middle school students to enable them to return to school. She also sensitized parents and local authorities to protect young girls from early pregnancy and marriage and to send all children to school.

"The opening of the school this year is a very good thing for the well-being of children in Ouandja kotto Ouandja-Kotto prefecture," said Phares Fio-Demontoan, from the Child Protection Section. “All children have the right to education,” he added.

As part of the program to reduce community violence, the DDR section of MINUSCA has initiated a project for the construction of school buildings and the creation of temporary jobs for young people prone to violence in the area.

In Oundja-kotto, there are two schools which make up fundamental 1 (up to CM2). There is also a college which goes from 6th to 3rd, all these schools are open this year. But according to the sub-prefect, for 3000 students identified, no qualified teacher, only 3 parent-teachers who teach the lessons.