UN official urges protection of civilians from conflict-related sexual violenceListen /
A new report released on Thursday details a range of human rights violations committed in the North Kivu province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) between April and September 2012.
The report has been compiled by the United Nations Joint Human Rights Office (UNJHRO) in the country.
Donn Bobb reports.
The report says the crimes committed in North Kivu include 12 confirmed cases of rape, in a series of incidents, and documented cases of sexual mutilation. But is says the number of sexual violence cases may be considerably higher, as investigators have been unable to confirm all of the human rights violations that were reported to them due to security constraints.
United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zainab Hawa Bangura has condemned these vicious attacks, which she says, have been committed along ethnic lines by armed groups.
She warns that brutality based on ethnicity only helps to fuel a vicious cycle of attacks and reprisals.
Ms. Bangura says conflict-related sexual violence is an assault on the peace and security of entire communities and makes post-conflict reconciliation more difficult
She calls on the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo to urgently take additional measures to restore security and ensure the protection of civilians from such wanton violence.
Donn Bobb, United Nations.