(photo credit: JPOST STAFF)
Pope Francis on Sunday appealed for an end to violence in Congo.
Congolese forces have been battling an uprising by the Kamwina Nsapu militia in the central Kasai province which erupted when they killed its leader, Kamwina Nsapu, in August.
The United Nations said this week it had received reports that the army had killed at least 101 people in clashes in the region between February 9 and 13, including 39 women.
"I strongly feel the pain for the victims, especially for the many children torn away from their families and the school to be used as soldiers. This is a tragedy: children used as soldiers," the pope said after conducting his weekly Angelus prayer from the window of the papal apartments overlooking St. Peter's Square.
Congolese Human Rights Minister Marie-Ange Mushobekwa said on Saturday that the Democratic Republic of Congo's government is investigating a video that appears to show Congolese troops shooting dead a group of apparent militia members armed with slingshots and wooden batons.
The seven-minute video, which was shared widely on social media and seen by Reuters, shows men in Congolese army uniforms saying they are participating in an operation against the Kamwina Nsapu militia.
It was not possible to confirm the video's authenticity independently or establish when it was recorded.