The result: almost a million people were forced to flee their homes in 2016 alone – globally, the largest number of refugees fleeing armed conflict. According to the latest figures from the "Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre" (IDMC), which are based on UN data, the 922,000 new internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the DRC place the country ahead of Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Nigeria.
Ongoing violence in central DRC has left around 400,000 children at risk of life-threatening malnourishment. In the Kasai region, heath centers have been forced to closed due to looting, a lack of security for staff and a shortage of medical supplies, the UN's children's agency UNICEF has reported.
Conflict in the area has already driven 9,000 children to flee across the border to the Angolan city of Dundo. The journey means a long and potentially dangerous walk through the bush, says Abubacar Sultan, who works for UNICEF in Angola. "Some of these children actually seem to have been direct victims of attacks," he says. "They come wounded, some of them with their limbs mutilated or parts of their bodies burned, some with bullets still in their bodies."