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    Parents of Congolese orphans could be alive

    © Stansfield/Wikimedia

    The judicial inquiry into fraud in the adoption of children from the Democratic Republic of Congo (RDC) by fifteen Belgian couples has entered a final phase, De Standaard, Het Nieuwsblad, Gazet van Antwerpen and Belang van Limburg published on Thursday.

    Five adoptions are suspected of being fraudulent, according to prosecutors, who hope to conclude the inquiry in August. 

    In practice this means that five children were abducted and presented as orphans to Belgian parents. At least three of these children (now aged 7 and 8 years) received, after their kidnapping, a new name and a new date of birth. DNA Research in Belgium on behalf of 15 other abducted children has so far yielded nothing. 

    “This painful event has completely ruined our lives, those of the biological parents and of the children,” Belgian parents retorted. 

    The investigation has revealed a leading figure in the case: Julienne Mpemba, a Belgian-Congolese, 41, from Namur who had contacts at the highest political levels in the RDC and among the French community. In previous interviews, she said she had “provided a new future for fifteen children.” The federal prosecutor’s office suspects Mpemba of human trafficking. After having been detained for several months, she has been released under electronic monitoring pending trial.

    The Brussels Times