Dozens of children executed by rebel groups in DR CongoListen /
At least 264 civilians, including 83 children, were executed by armed groups in Eastern Democratic republic of Congo between April and September this year, according to investigations conducted by the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR).
Investigators found that the Raia Mutomboki armed group, was responsible for most of the killings, which were often perpetrated with extreme violence.
The UN Human Rights Office says most of the victims were those least able to flee the attacks, largely children and the elderly.
At least 12 women were raped.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay is calling on the Congolese authorities to take immediate measures to protect civilian populations and to combat the persistent impunity which she says only serves to embolden the killers.
Cécile Pouilly is a spokesperson for the UN Human Rights Office.
"Many victims were hacked to death with machetes and others were burnt alive. There was also massive forced displacement large scale looting and destruction of private property. In April 2012 there were some army desertions and the creation of the M23 armed group. That led the Congolese army to focus its effort on containing this new rebellion and it resulted into a security vacuum in parts of the country and in eastern DRC. In response to this latest violence, the Congolese army as deployed with MONUSCO several units to this affected areas between July and September and we have been promoting initiatives as well to favor dialogue and ethnic reconciliation."