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DRC, Angola rape concerns growing

GENEVA, Switzerland, Nov. 11 (UPI) -- Migrants in Angola from the Democratic Republic of Congo are increasingly becoming victims of sexual violence, a U.N. envoy said.

The international community has put pressure on Democratic Republic of Congo to curb violence and do more to protect basic rights as the country gears up for elections this month.

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Margot Wallstrom, U.N. special envoy on sexual violence in conflict, in a statement, said DRC migrants in Angola are routinely subjected to rape.

"These allegations include rape, beatings, looting and torture by security forces of the government of Angola," she said.

Human Rights Watch noted last week that Ntabo Ntaberi Sheka, a leader of the Mai Mai militia in the DRC, is running for office in this month's election. Authorities issued an arrest warrant for him on mass rape charges in January.

Witnesses said armed members of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, or FDLR, and the Mai Mai militia were behind widespread sexual violence in DRC. The FDLR is linked to the Rwandan genocide in 1994.

The DRC has elections Nov. 28, just the second election in more than 40 years.

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