*Rebels in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo gang-raped almost 200 women during a four-day seizure of a town, aid groups said.
Rwandan Hutu FDLR insurgents and Mai Mai militia haunt eastern Congo, terrorizing civilians and raping thousands of women each year, despite a U.N.-backed campaign by the Congolese army aimed at neutralizing the armed gangs.
On July 30, FLDR and Mai Mai groups attacked the town of Luvungi in North Kivu province, which they then controlled until August 3.
“During the attack (the rebels) looted (the) population’s houses and raped several women in Luvungi and surrounding areas,” United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) spokesperson Stefania Trassari said on Monday.
“International Medical Corps (IMC) reported that FDLR systematically raped the population during its four-day stay in Luvungi and surrounding areas. A total of 179 cases of sexual violence were reported,” Trassari said, adding all of the cases were of rape against women.
Humanitarian group the IMC said it was treating the victims.
“Nearly all reported rapes were described as having been perpetrated by two-to-six armed men, often taking place in front of the women’s children and husbands,” it said in a statement.
Read more of this Reuters report HERE.