DRC must probe yesteryear rapes
KINSHASA, (CAJ News) – THE Democratic Republic of Congo has been urged to take action against the perpetrators of the mass rape by government forces and militia in Walikale, north of the country six years ago.
Over four days (July 30 to August 2 2010), 300 women, 55 girls, 23 men, and nine boys were systematically raped and subjected to other forms of sexual violence by the assailants in one of the worst mass rape incidents in the DRC.
In Walikale, North Kivu Province, civilian residents in 13 villages were attacked by a coalition of about 200 soldiers from the Mai Mai Sheka/Nduma Defence of Congo militia, led by Ntabo Ntaberi Sheka, the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, led by Serafin Lionso and a group of army deserters.
During the attacks, other human rights violations including murder, ill-treatment, abduction and looting also occurred, with 1 429 total victim’s affected.
Government has already completed investigations into the rapes and issued eight arrest warrants.
In March, military justice authorities included the Walikale rapes among a list of priority cases for immediate domestic prosecution.
UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Zainab Bangura, urged government to enforce the warrants and bring the perpetrators to justice, including Lionso, who is currently in detention.
The envoy said efforts must be made to immediately arrest Sheka who is currently under sanction by the Security Council. – CAJ News
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