Shocking: Ruthless rebels strap explosives to baby twin girls in DR Congo

A child on the streets of the Democratic Republic of Congo. — AFP
A child on the streets of the Democratic Republic of Congo. — AFP

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, rebels resorted to an alarming tactic by strapping explosives onto baby twin girls, intending to use them as a booby trap against security forces. 

This shocking incident is just one example of the escalating violence against children in the region, as reported by the United Nations on Friday.

The twin girls, who were merely one year old, were discovered in a village located in North Kivu, an area where the militant group known as the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) has intensified its use of explosive devices. UNICEF, the children’s agency of the United Nations, revealed that mine experts successfully removed the explosives without any detonation occurring.

Grant Leaity, the UNICEF representative in Congo, explained during a media briefing in Geneva that the intention behind this horrific act was to trigger an explosion when police or Congolese military personnel arrived, targeting the security forces.

This incident involving explosive devices is just one facet of several deeply troubling trends as violence against children reaches unprecedented levels in Eastern Congo, according to Leaity. He emphasised that children are subjected to daily atrocities, including rape, murder, abduction, recruitment by armed groups, and these reports represent only a fraction of the grim reality.

The ongoing violence in Congo has given rise to one of the world’s most severe and protracted humanitarian crises, with over 27 million people grappling with food shortages, and nearly 5.5 million forced to flee their homes, as reported by the UN Among the most severely affected are more than 2.8 million children.

The twin sisters, who remain unidentified, are currently recuperating from malnutrition at a UN facility before they are placed in foster care. Their parents had tragically lost their lives in an attack believed to have been carried out by the ADF. Although they are making progress in terms of physical health, the mental scars they bear may last a lifetime, as Leaity noted.

“Their unimaginable experiences are beyond comprehension,” he added.

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