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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Abuja Blast Impacts Lives, Livelihoods

Officials say they are looking at ways to help bombing victims and boosting security More

Cambodia Technology Adviser Criticizes Cybercrime Draft Law

Phu Leewood says current criminal code can be used to prosecute offenders and that there is no need for a separate law More

Photogallery A Year Later, Boston Remembers Deadly Marathon Bombings

City pauses to honor victims and salute emergency workers who came to their assistance in frantic moments after blasts More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid