Congolese soldiers raped 14 women, says UN office

UN mission human rights office in Democratic Republic of Congo report that government soldiers raped 14 women in eastern part of Congo

Photo by: AFP (Archive)
Photo by: AFP (Archive)

Rape in the Democratic Republic of Congo has frequently been described as a "weapon of war"

Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Government soldiers raped 14 women within three days in eastern DRC, a report from the UN mission of human rights in Congo stated on Wednesday.

The report said that the barbarity was committed as government troops were searching for a militant leader in South Kivu province, during three days starting on September 20.

The director of the Human Rights Office condemned DRC’s government and rebel forces over using such cruelty as a weapon of war and said it was the worst case recorded this year consisting of Congolese forces.

However, he added that the government’s reaction and announcement of a zero-tolerance policy on rape and sexual violence was promising.

Congolese authorities have increased the number of legal executions of sexual violence in recent years, but implementations are not enough.

Government spokesperson Lambert Mende said he was not aware of the particular charges in the human right’s report, but accused the office of abusing Congo by openly publishing the information rather than starting a judicial procedure.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the east of the country in particular, has been described as the "Rape Capital of the World," and the prevalence and intensity of all forms of sexual violence has been described as the worst in the world.

War, violence and instability have ravaged the DRC for decades, and this has led to a culture of violence in war and civilian life that often takes its form in a sexual nature.

TRTWorld and agencies