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UN to investigate reports of rape in eastern DR Congo

UN to investigate reports of rape in eastern DR Congo

Poster in Goma, eastern DRC, warning of the penalties for rape
The United Nations is dispatching some of its peacekeepers to a town in the far east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to investigate reports of recent rapes, a spokesperson said today.

Martin Nesirky, a spokesperson for the Secretary-General, told journalists that the UN has received “several worrying reports about incidents of an unknown number of alleged rapes and looting committed in the Nyakiele area in South Kivu [province], some 40 kilometres north of Fizi town, between 9 and 12 June.”

He said the UN’s mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) was sending a team to the town, which is eight hours by foot from the nearest UN military base.

Many towns and settlements in the DRC are extremely remote because of a lack of roads and other basic infrastructure and because of the often difficult terrain.

Mr. Nesirky said the humanitarian non-governmental organization (NGO) Médecins Sans Frontières had separately reported treating more than 100 victims of rape and other forms of trauma since staff arrived at Nyakiele on 21 June.