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    Republic of Congo Suspends International Adoptions

    The Republic of Congo has suspended all international adoptions following the scandal over a French group's attempt to take 103 children from Chad to Europe.

    Justice Minister Emmanuel Aime Yoka says the government made the move as a "preventative measure."

    He says the Chad incident occurred shortly after Spanish families adopted 17 children from the Republic of Congo. Yoka says the two events are not related, but says the Chad incident has prompted his government to try to verify the fate of the Congolese children taken to Spain.

    The Chadian case has called international attention to adoptions and trafficking of African children.

    A group calling itself Zoe's Ark caused international uproar last week after it was stopped from flying a planeload of children out of eastern Chad.

    Members of the group said they were trying to take orphans from Sudan's troubled Darfur region to Europe for adoption. But international aid agencies say most of the children have at least one parent.

    Chadian authorities have arrested nine French nationals and seven Spaniards in the incident.

    Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

     

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