Source: Agence France-Presse (AFP)
Date: 02 Feb 2011
KINSHASA — The United Nations said Wednesday it had tallied 53 new cases of rape last month in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, bringing its total rape count to 120 since the beginning of 2011.
Between January 19 to 23, "53 people were raped on the market road to Milimba and Kitumba" two villages in Sud-Kivu province, the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a statement.
"Humanitarian workers who organized evaluation missions along this axis," have confirmed the facts, OCHA said, adding men and children figured among the victims.
It did not offer details on the possible assailants.
The UN earlier said that Congolese forces had raped more than 67 women in Sud-Kivu and neighbouring Nord-Kivu province in early January.
The Congolese government has expressed "reservations" about the UN's first set of numbers, saying only three victims have been formally identified and denouncing an alleged "smear campaign" against its armed forces.
Congolese troops and a hodgepodge of militia groups are regularly accused of rape and looting in the volatile east of the country, which one UN official last year called the "rape capital of the world."
Copyright © 2011 AFP.