U.N.: Congo soldiers perpetrated mass rape

March 8, 2013 at 6:50 PM

UNITED NATIONS, March 8 (UPI) -- The United Nations Friday called for the suspension of two Democratic Republic of the Congo army battalions allegedly involved in mass rapes and other abuses.

Investigations conducted in the past three months by the U.N. mission in the Congolese town of Minova and neighboring villages determined the two armed forces units engaged in mass rapes and other human rights violations in late November, U.N. spokesman Martin Nesirky said in a release.

The United Nations didn't say what response, if any, it received from Congolese military officials.

Mission officials sent letters to the Congolese military's chief of staff requesting formal suspension of the two battalions.

"The U.N. mission is in touch with Congolese authorities at the highest level to ensure that the alleged perpetrators, including Congolese armed forces commanders, be brought to justice and held accountable," Nesirky told reporters in New York. "The mission will maintain, together with other partners, its support to Congolese judicial authorities to pursue their investigations and will offer its support for any trial to be held."

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