Rebels strap explosives to baby twins in DR Congo, says UN

According to the United Nations, rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo utilized explosive belts on infant twin girls as a dangerous trap for security forces, marking just one instance in a disturbing rise in violence against children in the region.

UNICEF, the children’s agency of the United Nations, reported that the two one-year-old girls were discovered in a village located in North Kivu, an area where the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a militant group, has escalated bomb attacks.

The explosives were removed by mine experts without detonating.

“The intention was with the arrival of police or Congolese military they would trigger the explosion against the security forces,” Grant Leaity, the UNICEF representative in Congo, told a media briefing in Geneva.

The heightened utilization of improvised explosive devices is just one among various “disturbing trends” as violence against children reaches unprecedented levels in the eastern part of Congo, he stated.

“On a daily basis, children are being raped and killed. They are being abducted, recruited and used by armed groups – and we know the reports we have are only the tip of the iceberg,” he said.

The conflict in Congo has triggered one of the globe’s most severe and protracted humanitarian crises, with over 27 million people confronting food shortages and nearly 5.5 million compelled to flee their residences, as reported by the U.N.

The crisis weighs most heavily on over 2.8 million children.

The twin siblings, whose identities remain undisclosed, are presently recuperating from malnutrition at a U.N. facility, awaiting placement in foster care. Their parents were victims of an attack believed to have been perpetrated by the ADF.

Despite their positive progress in overcoming malnutrition, Leaity cautioned that the psychological trauma they’ve endured may leave lasting scars that could affect them throughout their lives.

“You would not be able to imagine what they have been through,” he added.

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