UN to probe slow response to DRC rapes

2010-08-31 11:14
Kinshasa - The UN mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo said Monday it is working to establish whether it could have prevented the mass rape of some 180 women in the east of the country early this month.

"We have already launched a review of our actions and procedures to assess what we could have done better and faster to protect and assist the victims of these abominable rapes," said a statement from Monusco's head Roger Meece.

The United Nations reported last week that at least 179 women and children had been raped between July 30 and August 3 in Nord-Kivu province.

The rapes have been blamed on the Rwandan Hutu FDLR rebel group, which has been based in eastern DRC since after the genocide of 1994 but which denies involvement, as well as on the Mai-Mai tribal militia.

The New York Times has reported that UN peacekeepers stationed nearby knew the villages in question were occupied by rebels at the time of the rapes, raising questions over why they did not intervene.

At a special Security Council meeting, members criticised the slow response and demanded action to prevent a repeat of such a situation.

But Meece fought off the criticism, insisting: "Each day we try to improve our capacity to protect endangered populations."

"The various criticisms made with regard to this tragedy in no way reflect the reality of what happened," he said.

"Despite the progress made by the DRC towards peace and reconstruction, the reality is that foreign and Congolese armed groups... continue to loot, rape and kill in the country's east."

He said the Monusco mission "has already taken steps to improve its ability to analyse and communicate with the population" and would "reinforce" those capacities further.

Rape is a weapon of war used against civilians in eastern DRC, where assaults on villagers are frequently reported and blamed on a range of armed movements, including DRC’s regular army, the FARDC.

- SAPA
Read more on:    un  |  monusco  |  drc  |  central africa
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

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.