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UN says rights abuses by Congo army, security forces ongoing

[JURIST] A recent report [press release] from the UN Mission in DR Congo [official website] finds that despite a decrease in large-scale human rights abuses [JURIST report] at the hands of the military in the Congo [JURIST news archive], individual incidents of rapes, killings and torture by Congo's security forces have increased and could threaten cooperation between thousands of UN peacekeepers and security forces within the Congo. As part of the lead-up to elections held in the Congo this July, the first elections in 40 years, UN peacekeepers have been working with Congolese forces to maintain law and order, though the new revelations threaten to unravel the relationship.

Rights groups such as Amnesty International have in the past called for Congolese forces to be held accountable [AI report] for the abuses that have occurred. A spokesman for the Congo's Ministry of Defense, while acknowledging such violations do take place, said that the group has "proper disciplinary and judiciary measures in place" and that "there are problems with every army, and ours is no different." AP has more. The UN News Center has additional coverage.

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