Congo needs to prosecute 'out of control' army sex abuse: UN humanitarian chief

[JURIST] UN humanitarian coordinator Jan Egeland [official profile] told the UN Security Council on Friday that sexual abuse of women and girls by soldiers in the strife-torn Democratic Republic of Congo [JURIST news archive] "has become a cancer in Congolese society that seems to be out of control", and said the country's leaders needed to condemn and prosecute it. Egeland acknowledged that some military prosecutions have happened, but insisted "far too little is being done." Current conditions stem from the 5 year civil war in Congo, which has killed nearly 4 million people.

Egeland said he met with Congo President Joseph Kabila [BBC profile] on a recent visit to Africa, stressing that Kabila needs to fire and demote those military and civilian authorities who commit crimes against civilians but that Kabila countered that difficulties during the current transitional government made it hard to prosecute cases. Reuters has more.

In the same report Friday Egeland insisted that the need to ensure there is no impunity for mass murder [JURIST report] outweighed concerns by some in Uganda that International Criminal Court (ICC) indictments against leaders of the rebel Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) [JURIST news archive] could jeopardize the peace process there. The UN News Service has more.

 

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