Communities in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo are being preyed on mercilessly by rebel groups and local militias, as well as their own government’s troops and officials, in a vicious cycle of exploitation and abuse according to a new Oxfam report.
Millions of people in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo are now at the mercy of militias as the country's long-running conflict descends into widespread lawlessness with killing, kidnapping and abuse against the population at alarming levels.
On October 17, 2010, 20,000 women and men participated in a march in Bukavu to demand economic and social changes, demilitarization and the end of rape as a weapon of war. Oxfam and our partners joined women who travelled from 41 countries to attend the march.
Civilians in eastern Congo are facing an increased risk of rape and forced labour as a result of internationally backed military operations against rebel groups, according to new research released today.
An Oxfam-commissioned survey reveals that sixty percent of rape victims were gang raped. More than half of the assaults took place in their own homes. There has also been a shocking increase in the number of civilian rapists.
The Congolese government’s military operation in eastern Congo, Kimia II, backed by UN peacekeepers and aimed at neutralizing the threat from a Rwandan Hutu militia group, the FDLR, has resulted in an unacceptable cost for the civilian population.