Kinshasa — MILITIAMEN and armed groups are increasingly using rape and gender-based violence to terrorise communities northeast of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said the violations were commonplace in the Ituri Province where 296 incidents of sexual and gender-based violence were recorded over the past month. This is a marked increase from the 154 cases recorded in September. The Ituri Patriotic Resistance Force militiamen and local rebel groups are behind the violations mostly reported in Irumu town. The localities of Kagaba, Komanda and Luna are among the worst affected by the violence. Of the 296 cases reported, 144 are rape. There is a general problem of underreporting as victims fear reprisals by perpetrators. DRC is torn apart by militancy that has peaked after President Joseph Kabila extended his stranglehold in power despite the lapse of his term late last year. He has been in power since 2001 after the assassination of his father, Laurent. Some 4 million civilians are displaced within the volatile Central African country while thousands have fled to neighbouring countries. In Ituri, nearly 25 000 people are displaced against a backdrop of insecurity. More than 6 000 families that have fled the civil war in South Sudan have settled in the areas, complicating a dire situation. - CAJ News
Congo-Kinshasa: Rebel Groups Behind Increasing Rape Spree in DRC
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