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September 29, 2010

UN to Release Detailed Report on Congo Atrocities

The United Nations is set to release a report that documents a decade of alleged war crimes and human rights abuses in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The U.N. human rights office said the report, due out Friday, describes more than 600 incidents between 1993 and 2003 in which hundreds of thousands of people were killed, injured, or otherwise victimized.

The abuses occurred during a decade of civil conflict in Congo that drew in armies from several neighboring countries.

Rwanda, Uganda, and Angola already have rejected claims in the report that their forces committed abuses on Congolese soil.

In a letter to the U.N. human rights commissioner this week, Uganda said the allegations could jeopardize its participation in U.N. peacekeeping operations.  Uganda condemned the report as a "compendium of rumors, deeply flawed in methodology, sourcing, and standard of proof."

Rwanda made a similar threat earlier this month, but withdrew it after the U.N. said that Rwanda could contribute comments to the report.

The U.N. said the report is meant to help Congo's government find appropriate mechanisms to bring about justice, reparation and reform.

In a statement, the U.N. calls the report "unprecedented in scope."  It said nearly 1,300 witnesses were interviewed and more than 1,500 documents were collected and analyzed.