KINSHASA, Congo – Human rights groups say Congolese children are being kidnapped and recruited to serve as witch doctors for an armed group in volatile eastern Congo.
Friday's report from a coalition of rights groups says children are used because the Mai Mai militia believes their lack of sexual experience gives them special powers as witch doctors. The report calls on the United Nations to disarm the armed groups and crack down on their use of children.
Eastern Congo has been wracked by violence since Rwanda's 1994 genocide spilled war across the border. The shadowy Mai Mai militia is one of many armed groups in the area. Their fighters often use rudimentary weapons like spears and machetes and their group is believed to value mysticism.