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

Photogallery Pope Condemns IS 'Persecution' of Minorities

Pope delivers annual 'Urbi et Orbi' (to the city and the world) blessing, appeals for end to conflicts in Africa, dialogue in Middle East, condemns Taliban attack in Pakistan More

China Reduces Number of Crimes Punishable by Death

Earlier this year China announced plans to remove nine crimes from the list of capital offenses, including counterfeiting, fraudulent fund-raising and forcing others into prostitution More

Analysis: For N. Koreans, Parody Has Grave Tone

Most North Koreans who might see 'The Interview' would be horribly offended, outraged, and confused More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Estimates Rising of Foreign Fighters in Iraq, Syriai
X
Jeff Seldin
December 24, 2014 11:38 PM
Foreign fighters are making more of a mark on the battles raging across Syria and Iraq than initially thought. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more.
Video

Video Estimates Rising of Foreign Fighters in Iraq, Syria

Foreign fighters are making more of a mark on the battles raging across Syria and Iraq than initially thought. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more.
Video

Video Russians Head Into Holiday Facing Economic Malaise

Russian preparations for the New Year holiday are clouded by economic recession and a tumbling currency, the ruble. Nonetheless, people in the Russian capital appear to be in a festive mood. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Mombasa in Holiday Tourism Slump Due to Security Fears

Kenya's usually popular beachside tourist destination of Mombasa is seeing a much slower holiday season this year due to fears of insecurity as the country has suffered from a string of terror attacks linked to Somali militants. Mohammed Yusuf reports for VOA on how businessmen and tourists feel about the situation.
Video

Video For Somalis, 2014 Marked by Political Instability Within Government

While Somalia has long been torn apart by warfare and violence, this year one of the country's biggest challenges has come from within the government, as political infighting curtails the country's progress, threatens security gains and disappoints the international community. VOA's Gabe Joselow report.
Video

Video US Political Shift Could Affect Iran Nuclear Talks

Secretary of State John Kerry’s efforts to resolve Iran’s nuclear crisis are continuing into 2015 after Iran and six world powers failed to agree by a November deadline. U.S. domestic politics, however, could complicate efforts to reach a deal in the new year. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video NYSE: The Icon of Capitalism

From its humble beginnings in 1792 to its status as an economic bellweather for the world, the New York Stock Exchange is an integral part of the story of America. VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from Wall Street.
Video

Video Islamic State Emergence Transforms Syria and Iraq in 2014

The emergence of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria as a potent force in early 2014 changed the dynamics of the region. Their brutal methods - including executions and forced slavery - horrified the international community, drawing Western forces into the conflict. It also splintered the war in Syria, where more than 200,000 Syrians have died in the conflict. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell looks back at a deadly year in the region -- and what 2015 may hold.
Video

Video Massive Study Provides Best Look at Greenland Ice Loss Yet

The Greenland ice sheet is melting faster than predicted, according to a new study released in the Proceedings of the National Academic of Sciences that combines NASA satellite data and aerial missions. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the finding means coastal communities worldwide could be at greater risk, sooner, from the impact of rising seas.
Video

Video US Marines, Toys for Tots Bring Christmas Joy

Christmas is a time for giving in the United States, especially to young children who look forward to getting presents. But some families don't have money to buy gifts. For nearly 70 years, a U.S. Marines-sponsored program has donated toys and distributed them to underprivileged children during the holiday season. VOA's Deborah Block tells us about the annual Toys for Tots program.
Video

Video France Rocked by Attacks as Fear of ISIS-Inspired Terror Grows

Eleven people were injured, two seriously, when a man drove his car into crowds of pedestrians Sunday night in the French city of Dijon, shouting ‘God is Great’ in Arabic. It’s the latest in a series of apparent ‘lone-wolf’ terror attacks in the West. Henry Ridgwell looks at the growing threat of attacks, which security experts say are likely inspired by the so-called "Islamic State" terror group.

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