Tuesday, November 3, 2009

RDC: Eastern DR Congo - Surge in Army Atrocities

Congolese armed forces in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo have brutally killed hundreds of civilians and committed widespread rape in the past three months in a military operation backed by the United Nations, Human Rights Watch said today.

Human Rights Watch called on the UN peacekeeping force in Congo, MONUC, to immediately suspend its support to the military operation or risk being implicated in further atrocities.

In two fact-finding missions in eastern Congo in October 2009, Human Rights Watch documented the deliberate killing by Congolese soldiers of at least 270 civilians between the towns of Nyabiondo and Pinga in a remote part of North Kivu province since March. Many of them had been killed during two massacres in August at Mashango and Ndoruma villages. Most of the victims were women, children, and the elderly. Some were decapitated. Others were chopped to death by machete, beaten to death with clubs, or shot as they tried to flee.

"Some Congolese army soldiers are committing war crimes by viciously targeting the very people they should be protecting," said Anneke Van Woudenberg, senior researcher at Human Rights Watch. "MONUC's continued willingness to provide support for such abusive military operations implicates them in violations of the laws of war."

To be continued

Source: HRW (02/11/2009)

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