UN alarmed over wave of rapes in Democratic Republic of Congo

The United Nations is concerned about increasing sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo. For example, there have recently been several complaints of gang rape by armed gangs in the southeastern province of Tanganyika. There have been 243 cases in the last two weeks. Minors were involved in 48 cases.

The real number of incidents is expected to be much higher, as many women and girls often fail to report cases of sexual violence. “The attacks are most likely being perpetrated by armed rivals who want to maintain control of mines – especially gold mines – in the region and seek revenge for the government’s military operations,” said Shabia Mantoo, spokesman for the UN refugee agency.

Better security measures

Some women and girls are said to have been kidnapped and molested. In that case, the kidnappers demand ransom from the families in exchange for the victims’ freedom.

According to the UN, a total of 310,000 people have already fled the region as a result of the ongoing violence. The refugee agency, therefore, encourages the authorities in the Republic to take better security measures in the region and to protect the inhabitants. They must also start an investigation into the crime in order to bring the perpetrators to justice.

The UN agency is said to have received only 36 percent of the 205 million dollars it needs for the missions in the Republic.

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