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Catholic Priest in Mozambique Fears for Children Radicalization amid Increased Abductions

There is fear that young boys kidnapped by Al Shabaab militants in northern Mozambique are being radicalized to fight in the ranks of the militants.

Speaking to Catholic Charity organization, Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) International, Fr. Kwiriwi Fonseca ministering in the Catholic Diocese of Pemba estimated that hundreds of boys and girls have already been abducted in the ongoing violence in the country.

Fr. Fonseca said that there are no official statistics as to the number of children abducted, and explained, “We can speak of hundreds, because if we include all the villages from where people have been abducted, we can undoubtedly state this much.”

According to the Catholic Priest, abducted boys are trained to fight on the side of the militants while girls are forcefully married off to the fighters.

“The terrorists use these children and forcibly train them to fight in their ranks, whereas the girls are raped and forced to become their ‘brides’. In some cases, when they have grown bored with them, these girls are simply thrown out,” Fr. Fonseca tells ACN in a report published on Monday, June 14.

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