UN seeks protection of civilians in DRC

2012-07-27 14:44
Shutterstock [http://www.shutterstock.com]

Shutterstock [http://www.shutterstock.com]

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Geneva - The UN refugee agency on Friday urged the protection of civilians in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo where government forces and rebels have clashed for four months.

Amid reports of indiscriminate and summary killings of civilians, rape and torture, "tens of thousands of people have been forced to flee their homes in Nord Kivu province, many of whom sought safety in neighbouring Uganda and Rwanda," said UNHCR spokesperson Andrej Mahecic.

Between April and 15 July, aid agencies recorded more than 7 000 such incidents in Nord Kivu, the UNHCR said.

"We fear there may be more cases, where people were unable to speak out ... especially in rape cases," said Mahecic, urging "protection of civilians" caught up in the violence.

In addition to ethnic violence, victims had suffered arbitrary arrests, assaults, looting, extortion, destruction of property and forced labour, he added.

Children arriving in Uganda told the aid agency they were fleeing a recruitment campaign.

Reports said armed men were blocking escape routes for many of those fleeing to Uganda. Similar accounts have been related by arrivals in Rwanda, the UNHCR said.

In total, more than 470 000 Congolese have been displaced in eastern DRC since April: 220 000 in North Kivu, 200 000 in South Kivu and at least 51 000 to neighbouring Uganda (31 600) and Rwanda (19 400).

Congolese soldiers are fighting mutinous soldiers - Tutsi former rebels who were integrated into the regular army in 2009 as part of a peace deal that followed their failed 2008 offensive on the key DRC town of Goma.

They mutinied in April, demanding better pay and the full implementation of the 23 March, 2009 peace deal after which they are named.

Kinshasa accuses Kigali of sponsoring the rebellion - a complaint supported by a UN panel, which said in June that Rwanda was supplying the rebels. Rwanda has repeatedly denied the accusations.

Earlier this month, Congolese President Joseph Kabila and Rwandan President Paul Kagame agreed to deploy a joint task force to neutralise the M23 rebels.

Read more on:    un  |  joseph kabila  |  paul kagame  |  drc  |  rwanda  |  central africa
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

 
/Health

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to 40% on outdoor accessories!

Tents, sleeping, day packs and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Month End Madness Sale!

Save up to 60% on across a wide range of goods from books to electronics, DVDs and many more. Sale end 31 January 2015. Shop now!

Valentine’s Day gifts – 14 Feb!

Gifts to spoil him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off fragrances

Get 30% off fragrances for him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off All Textbooks

Save up to 30% off an extensive range of prescribed textbooks for all major universities and FET colleges. Shop Now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

It is easy to get bogged down by things today. The Taurus Moon highlights the comforts and pleasures of life. You may have the...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.