The authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo have arrested 75 suspected militiamen for murder and rape in the region of South Kivu. BBC reports,
They are accused of targeting very young girls, supposedly associating them with supernatural protection.
Those detained include the group’s leader, Frederic Batumike, who is a provincial deputy.
Most of DR Congo has recovered from nearly a decade of war but rebel violence continues in eastern areas.
Justice Minister Alexis Thambwe Mwamba said Mr Batumike and 74 of his fighters had been arrested last week for repeated rapes of about 30 very young girls near the village of Kavumu.
“The militia that works for him recruited a fetishist who advises the militiamen to rape very young girls to be assured of having supernatural protection,” Mr Thambwe said.