Democratic Republic of Congo: UN Releases Report on Systematic Rapes Committed by Congolese Army
Monday, May 20, 2013 12:30 PM

Earlier this month the United Nations Joint Human Rights Office released a report documenting 135 cases of systematic sexual assault of women by the Congolese Army in the area of Minova, in the South Kivu Province of the Democratic Republic of Congo in the fall of 2012. The UN investigation additionally revealed that the M23 rebel group committed at least 59 cases of sexual violence against civilian women in the area. The rapes occurred over a series of ten days during which the soldiers also looted the victims’ homes.

The UN remains hopeful that recent efforts will stabilize the region, including the appointment of former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and first woman president of Ireland Mary Robinson as special envoy to the area, as well as the deployment of a new combat brigade to Congo. As special envoy, Robinson will attempt to enforce the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Congo, a peace agreement established to deter attacks against women and children. Robinson is optimistic that the framework will begin to resolve some of the underlying causes of the crisis in the Congo. 
The full UN report can be found here.