UN expert on rapes arrives in DRC

2010-09-29 09:35
Kinshasa - A UN expert on sexual violence in war zones arrived late Tuesday in Kinshasa on the first leg of a week-long trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the scene of recent mass rape.

Margot Wallstrom, UN special representative on the prevention of sexual violence in conflict, was to visit the east of the country, where armed groups are regularly accused of horrific violence against civilians, from Thursday to Monday.

The representative of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was to travel to Bukavu in Sud-Kivu province before heading to Goma and Walikale in Nord-Kivu to meet victims of rape.

Wallstrom said in Geneva on Monday that a key objective of her trip is to train the focus on the perpetrators.

During her visit, the UN envoy will interview survivors and ensure that they get help in recovering from their ordeal. She will also look at ways to break the cycle of impunity in the country.

Wallstrom pushed for the prosecution of rebel leaders for the mass rape of civilians in eastern DRC, saying urgent action was needed "before the trail goes cold".

She singled out the rebel Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) and the Mai-Mai militia.

"The FDLR has time and again been responsible for grave human rights violations in the DRC. Accountability must begin with the commanders of these and other groups," she said.

"We already have some names, such as Colonel Mayele, the Mai-Mai Cheka chief of staff, and Colonel Serafim of FDLR," she told an informal meeting of the UN Human Rights Council.

Early warning signals


"These names are starting points and constitute leads by which we may also identify some of the other participants in the mass rapes," she added.

"This is the international crime that lets women walk in shame and perpetrators walk free," Wallstrom told journalists, as she criticised impunity for rapists.

A UN human rights report last week on the incidents, which took place in August, said 303 civilians - men, women and children - in 13 villages in the Walikale region in Nord-Kivu province were raped.

However, Wallstrom said that the number had effectively gone up to about 500 in those villages as more victims came forward.

"We have a narrow window of opportunity before the trail grows cold and media attention fades," Wallstrom told the rights council, after earlier saying that the leaders of militia would face war crimes charges.

Wallstrom also pointed to failings at the UN peacekeeping mission (Monusco) in the country.

"The problem is that they did not take the early warning signals seriously enough," she told journalists.

Meanwhile, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay revealed that a panel of experts led by the deputy high commissioner is also convening in the country this week, and will hold hearings with survivors of sexual violence.

NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
SPONSORED CONTENT
When is a mountain more than just a mountain? 2014-12-18 07:26

When it’s an adventure! A group of Old Mutual employees found out how much is enough courage, endurance and camaraderie to take on Africa's highest peak.

/News
 

13 summer safety tips

Summer time and the burning is easy. Get some great tips to ensure sunburn doesn't spoil your holiday!

 
 

I love summer.24

Stay in shape this summer
Ultimate fails compilation 2014
This sleeping bulldog is you during the holidays
This man's reaction to his Christmas present is priceless!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off the bestselling books

Save big on the most captivating reads of 2014. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Short term gratification seems like fun at the time; just remember that your boundaries are down right now and there s a tendency...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.