Congo Militiamen Grilled and Boiled Victims Alive, U.N. Says

Eddy Isango, AP, Mar. 16

KINSHASA, Congo—Militiamen grilled bodies on a spit and boiled two girls alive as their mother watched, U.N. peacekeepers charged Wednesday, adding cannibalism to a list of atrocities allegedly carried out by one of the tribal groups fighting in northeast Congo.

The report came as a key U.N. official said the ongoing violence in Congo, claiming thousands of lives every month, has made it the site of the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

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The allegations of cannibalism in the U.N. report were from a summary of testimony from witnesses gathered over a year from hundreds of people who had been kidnapped by militias in the region. The report said that some victims were killed by torture and decapitation. Those not killed were held in labor camps and forced to work as fishermen, porters, domestic workers and sex slaves.

“Several witnesses reported cases of mutilation followed by death or decapitation,” the report said.

The U.N. report included an account from Zainabo Alfani in which she said she was forced to watch rebels kill and eat two of her children in June 2003.

The report said, “In one corner, there was already cooked flesh from bodies and two bodies being grilled on a barbecue and, at the same time, they prepared her two little girls, putting them alive in two big pots filled with boiling water and oil.”

Her youngest child was saved, apparently because at six months old it didn’t have much flesh.

Alfani said she was gang-raped by the rebels and mutilated. She survived to tell her horror story, but died in the hospital on Sunday of AIDS contracted during her torture two years earlier, the U.N. report said.

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