Congo Commander Accused in Mass Rapes

Assaults on 51 women linked to death of soldier
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 19, 2011 1:21 AM CST
Congo Commander Accused in Mass Rapes
A Congolese soldier walk near a Congo army hospital. Rape victims in Fizi have accused a Congo army commander of orchestrating a mass rape assault.   (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)

An army commander of the Democratic Republic of Congo has been accused by a victim and local officials of leading a mass rape of some 50 women. It's the largest single rape attack linked to the Congo army, reports the BBC. "Those who raped me were members of the military," said the victim. "There were four of them—Lt. Colonel Kibibi Mutware and his bodyguards. They stole all our belongings and money." The brutal assault New Year's Day in the Congo town of Fizi was apparently triggered when a soldier was killed in a fight over a woman.

At least 51 women were raped, though officials believe many other victims fled town and other women will never come forward because they're ashamed. Kabibi, a former member of the CNDP rebel group which has been accused of several human rights abuses, denied he had anything to do with the mass assault.
(Read more Democratic Republic of Congo stories.)

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