A senior United Nations peacekeeping official, who is visiting the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) following the recent mass rape of civilians by members of illegal armed groups, has travelled to the eastern region of the country where the crimes were committed, a UN spokesperson said today.
Atul Khare, Assistant Secretary-General in the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) travelled yesterday from DRC’s capital Kinshasa to the east, where he will make stops in the towns of Goma, Kirumba, Kibua, Bukavu and Uvira.
He spent several days in Kinshasa meeting with various officials, including the Foreign Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister and the President’s security advisor. He also met with representatives of the civil society and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon dispatched Mr. Khare to DRC to work with Roger Meece, his Special Representative in the country, following reports that members of armed groups active in the DRC’s troubled North Kivu had raped at least 154 civilians in the province’s Banamukira territory between 30 July and 2 August.
Earlier this week, Mr. Meece urged authorities in DRC, the UN peacekeeping mission in the country, MONUSCO, and the international community in general to work together to put an end to crimes against civilians by illegal armed groups.