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Africa

Official says UN failed mass rape victims in DRC

media A Congolese soldier walks through the lobby of an abandoned luxury hotel … Reuters

A senior United Nations official has said the organisation's peacekeepers failed mass rape victims in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. The comment came after at least 242 women and children were raped in 13 villages in late July and early August. More than 500 sex assaults have now been reported in the past month.

Atul Khare, the UN's Assistant Secretary General for Peacekeeping Operations, addressed the UN Security Council yesterday in New York.

He said the organisation had failed the mass rape victims, and that its action against what he called a growing "culture of sexual violence" had not been adequate.

Khare told RFI that his recent trip to the DRC was intended to identify the UN's shortcomings in the region, and learn how to improve its response in the future.

He cited several steps the UN planned to take to improve communications.

"Where mobile phone networks exist, they will be innovatively utilised to obtain information about such imminent or developing situations," Khare said.

 

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