News / Africa

UN Condemns Upsurge in 'Blind Violence' in Eastern Congo

Congolese government soldiers prepare to drive from a military outpost between Kachiru village and Mbuzi hill, in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, May 25, 2012.Congolese government soldiers prepare to drive from a military outpost between Kachiru village and Mbuzi hill, in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, May 25, 2012.
x
Congolese government soldiers prepare to drive from a military outpost between Kachiru village and Mbuzi hill, in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, May 25, 2012.
Congolese government soldiers prepare to drive from a military outpost between Kachiru village and Mbuzi hill, in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, May 25, 2012.
Nick Long
KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of Congo - The United Nations has condemned an upsurge of what it calls "blind violence" in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. U.N. military officials say some of the most brutal massacres in recent memory have been committed by Congolese ethnic militias and Rwandan rebels.  
 
The U.N. Stabilization Mission in the Congo, known as MONUSCO, says it has collected reports of 98 civilians killed and six wounded in 11 villages of North Kivu province between May 9 and May 25.
 
The mission says the killings were carried out by two Congolese militias - the so-called Mai Mai Rahiya Mutomboki, working with members of the Congolese Defense Force - and by the Rwandan rebel group FDLR.
 
It says most of the victims, including women and children, were killed with machetes, spears and knives.
 
U.N. military spokesman Colonel Mactar Diop said the Rahiya Mutomboki are extremely hostile to those they regard as foreigners - especially members and supporters of the FDLR.
 
He said the Rahiya Mutomboki is a xenophobic group, against everything Rwandophone, and hostile to the Rwandan rebels of the FDLR.  They don’t have a political agenda, he said, except to take control of territory and drive out the Rwandophones and the FDLR.
 
The Rwandophones are Kinyarwanda speakers, of both the Hutu and Tutsi ethnic groups. They are migrants or descendants of migrants to the Congo from neighboring Rwanda. FDLR members are the remnant of Rwandan Hutu forces who fled to Congo after the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi.  

Diop said killings have spiked recently.
 
He said there has been an upsurge of killings in the past two months since Congolese army troops were redeployed elsewhere to combat a mutiny. He said Rahiya Mutomboki and other militias seized the opportunity to massacre Rwandophones, and the FDLR reacted by massacring villagers who they suspected of supporting the Rahiya Mutomboki.
 
By contrast, he said the areas where the Congolese army has been fighting mutineers have not witnessed these kinds of massacres, although tens of thousands of people have been displaced by the fighting.

Jean Claude Katende, spokesman for the Congolese human rights group ASADHO, said his group condemns human rights violations by all groups in eastern Congo. But he says the local population had suffered at the hands of the FDLR.
 
He also said this kind of violence will continue in Congo until the Rwandan government makes more of an effort to settle its internal political problems.
 
In the past few days Congolese commentators have accused Rwanda of supporting the so-called M23 mutiny in the Congolese army by Rwandophone soldiers. They cite an internal U.N. report that 11 deserters from the mutiny said they had been recruited and trained in Rwanda and sent to fight in the Congo.
 
A U.N. spokesman, Penangnini Toure, said the U.N. report resulted from a routine interrogation of the 11 men who had presented themselves to the U.N. and asked to be repatriated to Rwanda.
 
"That’s all we reported and that’s where it stops. The U.N. did not produce a report saying that Rwanda is directly involved in what is happening in eastern Congo," said Toure.
 
He also denied claims in local media that the U.N. tried to cover up the report.

You May Like

Video Obama to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

At Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, President says US will take leadership role for a global response to deadly Ebola virus that is ravaging West Africa More

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid