Democratic Republic of Congo: Over 600 Women and Girls Raped During Mass Illegal Immigrant Expulsion
Wednesday, November 10, 2010 1:30 PM

The United Nations has reported that over 600 women and girls were raped along the Congo-Angola border. The victims reported being held in dungeon-like conditions for weeks while being repeatedly gang-raped by security forces, after which they were stripped of their clothes and forced to find their way home. The UN reports that the attacks took place at several locations along the border during a mass expulsion of 6,000 illegal immigrants from Angola in September and October.

While officials are unclear as to which side of the border the sexual violence occurred, recent reports of mass rapes in eastern Congo indicate that this latest occurrence may be a part of an alarming pattern in the region. UN spokesman Maurizio Giuliano stated that "rape seems to be becoming epidemic in several parts of Congo..." The DRC has been cited as one of the worst places to be a woman in the world by several organizations, including the UN and Human Rights Watch, due to pervasive sexual violence.

Compiled from: Hundreds Were Raped on Congo-Angola Border (5 November 2010), Soldiers Who Rape, Commanders Who Condone (16 July 2009), Human Rights Watch.