BUSTED: A Network that Sells Cameroonian Babies in the DRC

Cameroon police have opened investigations into a network of traffickers who allegedly buy babies from the central African state to sell in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Some members of the network, believed to have illegally sold scores of children, were arrested Saturday in Cameroon’s capital, Yaoundé, with babies they had bought and a mother who said she wanted to sell her unborn child because she is poor. The mother was also arrested. Baudouin Gweha, senior official of the Gendarmerie post at Mimboman, a Yaoundé neighborhood, says he arrested 41-year-old Pierre Essola for carrying out an activity that violates human dignity.  Essolla said his intention is to help poor mothers, especially teenagers who abandon their babies on the streets because there is no one to help take care of the babies. Cameroonian police report that last year, several hundred children were abandoned on the streets by poor mothers. At least two dozen babies were either killed or found dead after their mothers abandoned them. He says the Cameroonian police have also arrested two mothers who sold their babies, two women from the DRC who bought babies, and a babysitter the women paid to take care of the newborns in Yaoundé. He says the four babies recovered from the traffickers have been handed over to the Chantal Biya hospital in Yaoundé for medical follow-up and care.

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