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Mon Apr 21 06:35:36 SAST 2014

126 rapes in eastern Congo in November: UN

Sapa-dpa | 19 December, 2012 10:45
People displaced by recent fighting in eastern Congo wait for relief aid in Mugunga IDP camp outside of Goma. File photo
Image by: JAMES AKENA / REUTERS

The UN has documented 126 cases of rape in eastern Congo, after Congolese soldiers fled advancing rebel troops of the M23 movement.

"Nine soldiers from the Armed Forces have been arrested, two in connection with the rapes and seven in connection with lootings," Martin Nesirky, a UN spokesman, said in New York late Tuesday.

The soldiers fled rebel forces, who held Goma, the main city in the east, for more than a week this month, before eventually agreeing to retreat in return for negotiations with the DRC government.

The talks, which are taking place in Uganda, are progressing slowly, amid tensions between the sides.

The UN said it had launched an investigation along with the government into the rapes, and support for the army units was being reconsidered.

The UN peacekeeping mission in Congo is the largest and most expensive in the world, but is stretched thin across the massive central African nation. A review is underway into how the peacekeepers lost Goma to the M23.

The rebels, mostly former soldiers of Tutsi ethnicity, picked up arms this year, citing various grievances against the government

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Mon Apr 21 06:35:36 SAST 2014 ::