Thursday 14 December 2017

Congo's horrifying rape toll rises to 303

Michael J Kavanagh

AT LEAST 303 civilians were raped in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo in July and August, the United Nations has said. That is a 25pc increase on its earlier estimate.

"The total number may well be higher," the UN Joint Human Rights Office in Kinshasa said yesterday.

It published a preliminary report on rebel attacks on 13 villages in North Kivu province's Walikale territory from July 30 to August 2. The UN said the targeted nature of the attacks was "horrifying," even for eastern Congo.

Armed groups and some elements of the Congolese army have used rape as a military tactic since conflict first broke out there in the mid-1990s.

Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said: "The scale and viciousness of these mass rapes defy belief."

At least 235 women, 52 girls, 13 men and three boys were raped and more than 900 homes destroyed.

Irish Independent

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