The United Nations has investigated a New Year's series of attacks and found that Congolese soldiers raped many more women than previously believed. A U.N. peacekeeping mission held the previous estimate at around a dozen women. However, subsequent investigations revealed at least 67 victims.
The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights stated her utmost concern “...with the fact that the Congolese army remains responsible for a significant number of human rights violations, including sexual violence, against its own population,” and called on the Congo for further investigation and prosecution of alleged perpetrators. Other rights groups as well as the U.N. peacekeeping force are demanding that Congo put an end to these atrocities within the military.
The Congo has responded with the detention of 10 Congolese soldiers as well as the arrest of a senior officer accused of ordering the rapes. The accused are expected to go on trial soon.
These findings add to the growing list of turmoil within the Congo, where sexual violence occurs frequently. Hundreds of people were raped in the last year by the FDLR, a Rwandan Hutu militia group.
Compiled from: UN Wire, UN finds many more Congolese rape victims, (25 January 2011).