More rape allegations surface in Africa

Oct. 28, 2010 at 2:05 PM
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GENEVA, Switzerland, Oct. 28 (UPI) -- More than two dozen Congolese women were raped repeatedly as they were expelled from Angola in a possible warning of things to come, a U.N. official said.

Maurizio Guiliano, a spokesman for the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said 30 Congolese women were allegedly gang-raped as they were ejected from Angola recently.

"Although the current unconfirmed reports are only about a relatively small number of people, there is a possibility that this could be a new wave of massive expulsions, perhaps both ways," he said in a statement.

The U.N. agency reported that "unconfirmed but reliable reports" said more than 150 Congolese nationals were expelled from Angola recently. As many as 30 women in the group were raped multiple times during the expulsion.

His concerns follow reports of mass rapes in the Congo allegedly committed by members of the Congolese Mai Mai militia and the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda.

Margot Wallstrom, the U.N. special envoy for sexual violence and conflict, told the U.N. Security Council last week that members of the Congolese military may have been involved in the atrocities as well.

Wallstrom said rape as a weapon isn't just a gender issue but lies at the forefront of peace and reconciliation.

Guiliano's added that last year more than 150,000 Congolese were expelled from Angola and some 50,000 Angolans were expelled from the Congo.

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