Schoolgirls Used As Human Shields In Congo Due to ‘Magical Powers’

NAIROBI, May 20 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) — Schoolgirls in the Democratic Republic of Congo were raped, forced into marriage, and used as human shields by militias who believed they had “magical powers” during violence over a year ago, an investigation by a group of charities said last week.

The Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA) said its research into the year-long violence in Congo’s central Kasai region, which largely ended in 2017, found that female students suffered multiple abuses by armed groups.

Based on interviews with over 55 students and teachers, the report documents testimonies from survivors and witnesses of how militiamen attacked hundreds of schools — kidnapping girls for sexual slavery, forced marriage, and to serve as child soldiers.

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