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Indian troops rescue 22 potential "child soldiers" from war-torn Congo

26 Sep 2017 | By Abheet Sethi

Indian Army troops deployed as UN peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have rescued 22 children from the danger of being turned into "child soldiers" by armed groups.

The Army said 16 boys and six girls were "extricated" in a 48-hour mission conducted by the Indian rapid deployment battalion at Nyabiondo, a village in eastern DRC.

In context: How Indian troops strive to secure war-torn Congo

26 Sep 2017Indian troops rescue 22 potential "child soldiers" from war-torn Congo

Army says rescued children handed over to UN protection agencies

"The battalion swung into action on September 16 after receiving the information about the children from the local villagers and foiled attempts by armed groups to turn them into child soldiers. The children were later handed over to the UN child protection agencies."
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Indian troops drive away armed groups, save 200 fleeing families

DetailsIndian troops drive away armed groups, save 200 fleeing families

Meanwhile, troops from another Indian battalion stopped the displacement of an entire village of 200 families in the Mirki Area.

"The exodus was being caused by fighting between rival groups, which had led to panic in the area," an Army official said.

"The prompt show of force by the Indian soldiers drove away the fighting groups and brought the situation under control," he added.

India's roleRole of Indian troops in maintaining peace in DRC

Over 2,600 Indian troops have been deployed under the United Nations Organization Mission in Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO).

The Indian troops have been entrusted with protecting civilians in nearly 43,700 square km of the highly unstable North Kivu provinces, home to 948 villages, 42 camps, and 1,80,000 internally displaced people.

Attacks have killed half a dozen Indian troops and injured several others.