The information below is based on the Report of the Secretary-General to the Security Council (S/2018/280) issued on 29 March 2019.

In 2018, the intensified activity by non-State armed actors, as well as the military operations in response thereto, contributed to an increase in the number of documented cases of conflict-related sexual violence. Non-State armed groups, using sexual violence to enforce control over illicit economic activities, including the exploitation of natural resources, were responsible for most cases.

In 2018, the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) documented 1,049 cases of conflictrelated sexual violence against 605 women, 436 girls, 4 men and 4 boys. Most of the cases (741) were attributed to armed groups, while 308 were attributed to the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Congolese National Police. In most incidents, women and girls were targeted while walking to school or collecting firewood or water. A quarter of the cases attributed to the Congolese police were committed while victims were detained in temporary holding cells.

The majority of verified incidents involving armed groups occurred in North and South Kivu Provinces and included rape, gang rape and sexual slavery. Since February, members of the Mai-Mai Raia Mutomboki armed group have committed mass rapes in South Kivu’s Shabunda, Walungu and Mwenga territories. In April, during at least four attacks in mineral-rich Shabunda, Mai-Mai Raia Mutomboki members raped and gang-raped at least 66 women, 11 girls and 2 men. Those acts included penetration and intrusive cavity searches, in an alleged search for gold. In North Kivu, the dissident wing of Alliance des patriotes pour un Congo libre et souverain-Rénové, led by “General” Mapenzi Bulere Likuwe, and Nduma défence du Congo-Rénové, led by “General” Guidon Shimiray Mwissa, committed rape as part of systematic attacks against civilians in Masisi and Lubero. In Beni, the Allied Democratic Forces abused civilians, including through the abduction of children and women. In Ituri, Force de résistance patriotique de l’Ituri continued to perpetrate sexual violence, despite ongoing peace negotiations.

The Mission supported the implementation of the Armed Forces’ action plan against sexual violence, including through joint MONUSCO-Armed Forces-national police provincial Comités de suivi and the training of commanders and security officers on the prevention of sexual violence. The Mission engaged with non-State actors on the prevention of conflict-related sexual violence. In March 2018, with MONUSCO support, the national police developed an action plan against sexual violence, which awaits signature by the Minister of the Interior. With United Nations support, Ntabo Ntaberi Sheka (sanctioned by the Security Council Committee S/2019/280 12/35 19-04552 established pursuant to resolution 1533 (2004) concerning the Democratic Republic of the Congo in November 2011) and Serafin Lionso are being tried in military courts for mass rapes committed in Walikale province in 2010. In addition, the verdict in the Kavumu child rape case was upheld on appeal. However, despite his conviction in November for acts of rape constituting crimes against humanity, Lieutenant Colonel Mabiala Ngoma is still at large. Moreover, victims have not yet received the reparations awarded by the military court.

Recommendation

I urge the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to strengthen the prevention of conflict-related sexual violence by increasing security and State presence in areas where communities are involved in mining activities. I call for the armed and security forces to be adequately vetted and trained, and for a policy of zero tolerance of conflict-related sexual violence to be upheld by bringing offenders to justice, irrespective of rank, and ensuring that victims are protected and receive adequate reparations.

Where We Work: