Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Mass slaughter of civilians in DRC - UN

15 November 2012, 10:46

Geneva - Armed groups in the Democratic Republic of Congo's war-torn east province slaughtered more than 200 people, including scores of children, between April and September, hacking some to death and burning others alive, the UN said on Wednesday.

"At least 264 civilians, including 83 children, were arbitrarily executed by armed groups in more than 75 attacks on villages between April and September this year," the office of the UN's High Commissioner for Human Rights said as it published a report into abuses in the DRC's resource-rich east.

Investigators focusing on the southern town of Masisi in North Kivu province uncovered evidence of victims being hacked to death with machetes.

Others were burnt alive in their homes, investigators found, blaming the majority of the killings on two armed groups, Raia Mutomboki and their allies the Mayi Mayi.

Ethnic cleansing

Raia Mutomboki is a homeland defence militia whose agenda is to ethnically cleanse the region, forcing all Kinyarwanda speakers out of the DRC. But it has also seized the villagers it purports to be protecting, using them as porters.

Fighters from an ethnic Hutu militia called Nyatura were also responsible for killings and other human rights abuses, the UN said, along with the Rwandan Hutu group the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), which Kigali suspects includes fighters who took part in the 1994 genocide of Tutsis in Rwanda.

Following publication of the report - the result of six missions and more than 160 interviews with victims and witnesses - UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay condemned the killings as "the most serious [human rights violations] we have seen in recent times in the DRC."

The number of killings could be considerably higher, the UN agency said, lamenting that security concerns had prevented investigators from probing other reported violations.

Reflecting the ethnic nature of the slaughter, civilians killed by the Raia Mutomboki were mostly Hutu, while those killed by the Nyatura were mainly Tembo people, the UN said.

Competition for land, resources

Chronic unrest in eastern DRC over the past 15 years are rooted in competition for land and natural resources, the Geneva-based agency said, resulting in violence committed along ethnic lines.

Other human rights violations uncovered by the Geneva-based agency included mass forced displacement and large-scale looting.

Investigators also confirmed four cases of sexual violence involving the rape of 12 women.

The report's publication comes as the Congolese army continues to fight the M23 rebels in North Kivu, a group formed in May by army mutineers.

The M23, which has dubbed its armed wing the Congolese Revolutionary Army, was launched by former fighters in an ethnic Tutsi rebel group that was integrated into the military under a 2009 peace deal whose terms the mutineers claim were never fully implemented.

Rights groups have also accused the M23 of human rights abuses and of unleashing a fresh cycle of violence by the region's complex web of armed groups.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...