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Investigator: UN Failed Mass Rape Victims in Congo

Wednesday, 08 September 2010 06:56 AM

The UN "failed" the victims of a mass rape in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, a top official has said, as the number of reported cases rose to more than 500, The Guardian reports.

The world's biggest UN peacekeeping mission has been accused of ignoring warnings from community leaders days before Rwandan and Congolese rebels began a spree of raping and looting 20 miles from a UN base.

Atul Khare, the UN assistant secretary general for peacekeeping, conceded: "While the primary responsibility for protection of civilians lies with the state, its national army and police force, clearly we have also failed. Our actions were not adequate, resulting in unacceptable brutalisation of the population of the villages in the area. We must do better."

The number of victims in July and August is now double that previously reported. Khare told the UN security council that at least 267 rapes occurred in another area of eastern Congo, in addition to 242 rapes – ranging from a month-old baby boy to a 110-year-old woman – earlier reported in and around the village of Luvungi.

Khare later told the BBC: "Graphic examples were provided to me by the victims themselves when I met them in Luvungi and in other parts where I travelled. And I must say that this is why I feel that we have a responsibility, we owe a responsibility to the victims to make their lives better but also we owe them the responsibility of making DRC better."

Khare called for prosecution of Rwandan rebel group FDLR – which is led by perpetrators of the Rwandan genocide who fled to Congo – and Congolese Mai-Mai militia blamed for many of the attacks and UN sanctions against their leaders.

Read the entire story at guardian.co.uk

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Wednesday, 08 September 2010 06:56 AM
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