Conflict in Congo Intensifies Abduction, Torture, Rape

For decades, conflict has raged in eastern Congo, with more than 120 armed groups fighting for control of mines containing valuable minerals, while others seek to protect their communities.

According to a United Nations report, the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo has resulted to an increase in Kidnappings, torture, and rapes in the Country. The M23 rebels in eastern Congo have killed scores of civilians, including women and children.

According to a report by a panel of United Nations experts, the M23 rebels have also forced children to serve as soldiers. 

The 21-page report, which is based on interviews with over 230 sources and visits to the Rutshuru area of Congo’s North Kivu province, where the M23 has seized territory, is set to be released this week.

For decades, conflict has raged in eastern Congo, with more than 120 armed groups fighting for control of mines containing valuable minerals, while others seek to protect their communities.

The M23 resurfaced this year after being largely dormant for nearly a decade, exacerbating an already volatile situation.

The M23 gained prominence ten years ago when its fighters seized Goma, the largest city in Congo’s east, which borders Rwanda. 

The group takes its name from a March 23, 2009 peace agreement that called for the rebels to be integrated into the Congo army. 

The M23 accuses the government of failing to implement the agreement.

The reactivated M23 began killing civilians and capturing large swaths of territory in late 2021. 

According to the report, M23 fighters raped and harassed women who attempted to farm family fields in rebel-controlled areas. 

Further,the report indicates that the rebels accused civilians of spying for the Congolese army who were frequently imprisoned, and some were beaten to death.