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Missionary questions motives of UN report on Congo rapes

Catholic World News - September 09, 2010

A missionary whose name was not reported for safety reasons has questioned the motives behind a United Nations report on over 500 recent rapes by members of armed groups in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. Fighting in the central African nation has claimed some 5.4 million lives since 1997-- the deadliest conflict since World War II.

“The UN has finally become aware of a situation that we as missionaries and as the Church have been denouncing for some time now,” the missionary said. “However, I often wonder whether there are strategic and political interests in publishing this report right now.”

“The UN report especially denounces the violence of the FDLR [Democratic Liberation Forces of Rwanda] and the Mai-Mai, but not those committed by other armed groups in the area, including the UN peacekeepers themselves,” the missionary added. “I do not know if there is a relationship between this sudden awakening of the UN in denouncing the humanitarian situation and the ongoing debate that has taken place for months over the withdrawal of the UN mission in Congo, which is not very well seen by the local population and is regarded as a front for foreign interests.”

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