“Around Kamanyola in Walungu territory, FARDC soldiers looted property and cattle and gang-raped a lady. When trying to fight off the rapists, two male members of the affected family were killed.” This is a short note from the daily situation report of MONUSCO’s South Kivu office, sent on 10 July 2010. It is one of many similar observations made by the dismayed and overwhelmed peacekeepers of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), whose first priority is the protection of civilians. On another day, or in another duty station, peacekeepers might report about a couple of children being abducted or a family burnt alive in their home by one of the militias roaming the subregion. On a few occasions – in July/August 2010 in Walikale territory in North Kivu, and in January and February 2011 in Fizi territory of South Kivu (see map 1) – the recurrent human rights violations in the DRC reached horrific proportions, with scores of people, including many children, sexually abused. In December 2008 and 2009, hundreds were massacred and several dozen abducted in Haut Uélé district (Province Orientale).
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