Congo Orphan Faces Lawless World

War-torn nation struggles to cope with parentless children
By Rebecca Smith Hurd,  Newser User
Posted Nov 16, 2008 7:33 PM CST
Motherless orphans and lost children rest at the Don Bosco Ngangi center in Goma, eastern Congo, Thursday Nov 13, 2008.   (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
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(Newser) – An infant discovered in a corpse-ridden house may portend a new problem in Congo's humanitarian crisis, the AP reports. Eliya, found crying with a bullet wound, is one of 250,000 people displaced since fighting reignited in August. “Caring for orphans, that’s something new for us,” said a nurse at the hospital caring for Eliya. “It will be difficult, maybe impossible, to find anyone to take him."

In the North Kivu province, where rebels are resurgent, orphanages do not exist and 1 million adults live as refugees, barely able to feed their children. Eliya has little hope of finding his parents here. Traumatized, he refuses to speak to anyone other than kids at the hospital. “He finally opened up and told them, ‘My name is Eliya,’” the nurse said. “But he still won't talk to us.”