3 May 2024 - Congo (Kinshasa)

Dozens reported killed and injured in DRC displacement camp amid shell explosions

Statement Card

KINSHASA, 3 May 2024 – Shells hit a displacement camp in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) today, prompting aid workers to temporarily evacuate and resulting in up to 40 reported deaths and many others injured, with children among the casualties, Save the Children said.  

Save the Children, along with a local NGO partner, was present at the Lushagala camp this morning for the distribution of hygiene kits when a shell exploded approximately 30 metres ahead of their vehicle. The shell detonated near a bustling market within the overcrowded displacement camp outside of Goma.  

Community reports suggest about 40 people have been killed with many others injured, although Save the Children has not been able to independently verify this number. All of Save the Children’s staff and its local partner are accounted for.  

Greg Ramm, Country Director for Save the Children in the DRC said: 

“The reports from the camp are horrifying. Dozens of civilians have been injured, some have lost limbs.  Most of those injured are women and children.  Some of our staff and partner staff were briefly trapped inside the camp before quickly getting out to safety. However, thousands of children and families living in the camps do not have the same privilege of being able to leave for somewhere safer. A tent does not offer much protection from shelling.  

"What happened today is another grim reminder that the DRC continues to be one of the most dangerous places to be a child, and children and the most vulnerable are bearing the brunt of this crisis.  

Protection of civilians, especially children and families living in displacement camps, must be priortised and support must be scaled up. More needs to be done, now, to reduce the use of these devastating weapons, especially so close to where children and their families are sheltering for safety. Save the Children is calling for all parties to the conflict to end the use of explosive weapons in the proximity of populated areas and ensure aid workers have immediate, sustained and unimpeded passage of humanitarian relief to reach those who need it most.” 

Save the Children started working in the DRC in 1994 to meet humanitarian needs linked to the arrival of refugees and the displacement of populations due to armed conflict in eastern provinces. Save the Children has scaled up its humanitarian response to support existing care systems, training local leaders and communities to prevent and respond to exploitation and abuse, and ensuring access to healthcare through mobile clinics. It is also helping children access basic education by building classrooms, training teachers, and distributing learning materials. 


READ MORE: What's happening in the Democratic Republic of the Congo?



For further enquiries please contact:

Ruby Wright, ruby.wright@savethechildren.org

Our media out of hours (BST) contact is media@savethechildren.org.uk / +44(0)7831 650409 


Ruby Wright l Global Media Manager


Email: ruby.wright@savethechildren.org

Phone/Whatsapp: (44) 7969983222

Our media out of hours (BST) contact is media@savethechildren.org.uk / +44(0)7831 650409


We stand side by side with children in the world's toughest places.