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(Sep 30, 2010) On September 28, 2010, Margot Wallstrőm, the United Nations Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, began a mission to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to organize a U.N. response to the mass rapes in late July and early August of this year in the eastern region of the country. More than 300 civilians, including adults as well as 52 girls and three boys, are known victims of sexual assault by rebels; many of the rapes occurred in North Kivu province, which Wallstrőm will visit. In addition to the attacks, 116 people were abducted and forced into labor service and at least 923 houses and 42 businesses were looted. (Senior UN Official in DR Congo to Investigate Mass Rape of Civilians, UN NEWS CENTRE (Sept. 28, 2010), http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=36254&Cr=DEMOCRATIC&
;Cr1=CONGO.0
.)

The violence was reported to have been committed by about 200 members of the three armed rebel organizations, Maï Maï Checka, the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), and a group close to Colonel Emmanuel Nsengiyumva, who has been associated with the National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP). Wallstrőm held the FDLR responsible for "grave human rights violations" and stated in Geneva that the "establishment of responsibilities must begin with the leaders of this group and with those of other groups for not having prevented these outrages." She pushed the DRC government and the international community to bring the offenders to justice. (Id.)

The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights already has a team in the DRC to look into the possibility of reparations for the victims of the attacks. (Id.)

Author: Constance Johnson More by this author
Topic: Human rights More on this topic
Jurisdiction: Congo, The Democratic Republic of the More about this jurisdiction
 United Nations More about this jurisdiction

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Last updated: 09/30/2010