BRUSSELS, July 19 (UPI) -- The international community needs to address the "unspeakable barbarity" of attacks against civilians in the Democratic Republic of Congo, an EU leader said.
The European Commission said Friday it was releasing $13.1 million in aid to help address the needs of 2.5 million people affected by conflict in the DRC.
The European Union estimates more than 2 million people have been forced to flee their homes because of rebel conflict in the war-torn African country.
The rebel March 23 Movement seized parts of eastern DRC last year. The group is suspected of committing war crimes in the country and the EU said it has been able to document "daily violations" amid renewed fighting in the region.
Kristalina Georgieva, European commissioner for crisis response, called on all parties to the conflict in DRC to put an end to the violence for the sake of civilian protection.
"The world needs to wake up and act now against the unspeakable barbarity of sexual and gender-based violence in Eastern Congo," she said in a statement. "I call on all those who have influence in Eastern Congo to do their utmost to end this barbaric violence."
The United Nations this week expressed concern over allegations members of the DRC military mistreated captured M23 rebels.