News / Africa

DRC Army Accused of Abuses During Retreat from Goma

A Congolese soldier at the last  army check point in Munigi, near Goma in the DRC on Nov. 19, 2012.
A Congolese soldier at the last army check point in Munigi, near Goma in the DRC on Nov. 19, 2012.
Gabe Joselow
Civilians in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo say soldiers from the Congolese army have been looting homes and raping residents in towns under their control, as they retreat from M23 rebels.
 
More than a thousand soldiers from the Congolese army, known as FARDC, roamed the streets of Minova Saturday, after suffering setbacks this week in their fight against the M23 rebels.
 
  • M23 rebels guard weapons given to them by the government's army, Goma, DRC, November 21, 2012.
  • A Congo government policeman hands in his weapon to M23 rebels during an M23 rally in Goma, DRC, November 21, 2012.
  • Congo government policemen, foreground, and civilians gather during a M23 rally in Goma, Congo, November 21, 2012.
  • A M23 fighter, wearing a belt of ammunition, walks down a street in Goma, after the rebels captured the city from the government army, November 20, 2012.
  • People walk the streets of Goma, DRC during a lull in the fighting, November 20, 2012. (VOA 100 Citoyens journalistes de RD Congo)
  • M23 rebels in the streets of Goma in the Democratic Republic of Congo, November 20, 2012. (A. Malivika/VOA)
  • M23 rebels enter Goma, November 20, 2012. (A. Malivika/VOA)
  • M23 rebels celebrating their takeover of Goma, DRC, November 20, 2012. (A. Malivika/VOA)
  • M23 spokesperson Lt. Col. Vianney Kazarama entering Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo, November 20, 2012. (A. Malivika/VOA)
  • M23 Rebels patrolling in Goma, DRC, November 20, 2012. (A. Malivika/VOA)

The army has been consolidating its forces in the town, which lies between Goma and Bukavu on the shores of Lake Kivu.
 
Residents here say while they initially welcomed the soldiers, they have become a terror to the town: raping women, looting shops and even killing people.
 
Minova resident Nico Patrice said the abuses started over the last two days, after FARDC lost a battle for the town of Sake, about 25 kilometers from the commercial hub of Goma, which is also under rebel control.
 
“They took a lot of items from the shops,” he said, “a lot of food items, and things for sale. They told us that if anyone complained, they would get killed.
 
  • Shops closed in Sake a day after M23 rebels took control of the town following overnight battles with the Congolese army, DRC, November 23, 2012. (G. Joselow/VOA)
  • Fighting has displaced tens of thousands of people from the town of Sake, west of Goma, DRC, November 23, 2011. (G. Joselow/VOA)
  • With IDP camps filling up since the rebellion in eastern Congo began in April, newly displaced people are sleeping in churches until they can find a place to settle, DRC, November 23, 2012. (G. Joselow/VOA)
  • Displaced people from the town of Sake gather at the Mugunga camp on the road to Goma, DRC, November 23, 2012. (G. Joselow.VOA)
  • Families flee fighting between the Congolese army and M23 rebels in the town of Sake, DRC, November 23, 2012. G. Joselow/VOA)

A United Nations liaison working in the town confirmed accounts of FARDC soldiers committing grave human rights violations and said U.N. peacekeepers were coming to survey the situation.
 
A convoy of soldiers from the U.N. Peacekeeping mission in Congo (MONUSCO) headed toward Minova from the direction of Goma Saturday, but was turned away at a checkpoint manned by a government-aligned militia.
 
Residents at displaced people's camps around Goma have complained of similar abuses by retreating Congolese soldiers.
 
Human rights groups also have recorded violations by Congolese soldiers during past conflicts. The M23 rebels are also accused of committing executions, rape and forced recruitment of soldiers as they seize territory in the east.
 
While the fighting has subsided over the past two days, the consolidation of FARDC forces may be a sign that hostilities could soon resume. On Saturday, a soldier with a government-aligned militia outside Minova said they and the government forces are planning to attack the rebels.

Fearing violence, residents, clutching their belongings, fled the area around Minova Saturday - a scene that has repeated itself throughout the conflict in eastern DRC. One woman said U.N. peacekeepers told her to take refuge in a local hospital.
 
The United Nations says as many as 140,000 people have been displaced by recent fighting in and around Goma.

You May Like

Report: $60 Billion Leaves Africa Illegally Each Year

Report by joint UN and African Union panel says African countries need to take concrete measures to stop illegal money flow from continent each year More

Video Spy Murder Probe Likely to Further Strain British-Russian Relations

Some analysts say Russian Tu-95 bombers were flying near British airspace to warn Britain about an inquest into a murdered Russian spy More

Mugabe Defends Image Amid Controversy at Close of AU Summit

He rejects concerns about how the West might perceive his leadership, saying he's focused on African development More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: satan kamudila matata from: Bunia Ituri
November 26, 2012 6:15 AM
FARDC the French name for RDC army can loot, rape and escape confronting the enemies due to lack of proper management.These soldiers have their wives, children,relatives and families.These soldiers have salary of 50usd per month without ration and these money cant afford any life to even a single man leaving a lonely life compare to them. Automatically they are titled to loot and rape because behind them while at war,their wives also sells themselves to other men in order to earn living. And these could happen to those with five children paying their school fees,feeding and might be even renting.Then anybody from no where come to say that,those fighting should be sanctioned yet the government does'nt take care of anybody in terms of salary.These armies are a gain given dry beans at the battle ground.What time do you think they can have to cook their dry beans and fight?.The Kabila government uses the system called AUTO RETURN of all money meant for such operations and what do you think would happen? We are ready politically to solve these problems once and for all. Without M23 starting the fire,people were already tired with this SELF STILES Government. Last message to the world is that,PLAYERS ARE YET TO COME. thanks


by: David from: Washington
November 24, 2012 9:40 PM
. M23 should not integrate DRC Army because they come from Rwanda & Uganda Army, they will betray DRC. Presently DRC Army is very weak because Rwandese and Uganda Army infiltrated DRC Army with complicity of Joseph Kabila and community international. DRC need a new leadership and new army. In addition UN’s drones have to bomb position to reduce theorist activities in DRC.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Spy Murder Probe Likely to Further Strain British-Russian Relationsi
X
Henry Ridgwell
January 31, 2015 10:50 PM
Relations between Russia and the West are set to become even more strained amid an inquiry in London into the murder of a former Russian spy. Lawyers at the inquiry accuse Russian President Vladimir Putin of directing a "mafia state." Meanwhile, Royal Air Force fighters intercepted Russian bombers close to British airspace this week, prompting authorities to summon Moscow’s ambassador. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Spy Murder Probe Likely to Further Strain British-Russian Relations

Relations between Russia and the West are set to become even more strained amid an inquiry in London into the murder of a former Russian spy. Lawyers at the inquiry accuse Russian President Vladimir Putin of directing a "mafia state." Meanwhile, Royal Air Force fighters intercepted Russian bombers close to British airspace this week, prompting authorities to summon Moscow’s ambassador. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Neighborhood Divided Over Conflict

People in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk districts find themselves squarely in the path of advancing Russian-backed rebels, who want to take back the territory they held at the beginning of the conflict last year. Many local residents are afraid, but others would welcome the change, even when a rebel shell lands in their neighborhood. From the Luhansk district, 15 kilometers from where the Ukrainian government marks the front line, VOA’s Al Pessin reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Later

Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid