Reports of Mass Rapes in Democratic Republic of the Congo

Press Statement
Victoria Nuland
Department Spokesperson, Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
July 6, 2011

The United States Government is gravely disturbed about the mass rapes that occurred between June 10 to 12 in a remote area of South Kivu province in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and we strongly condemn these severe human rights abuses. Since we first learned of the attacks, we have been engaged with Congolese authorities, local and international nongovernmental organizations, and the United Nations, including the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission to the DRC (MONUSCO) to gather the information needed to swiftly bring the perpetrators to justice.

In the meantime, our current assistance programs support survivors in the region, and we will work with our implementing partners in the DRC to determine how we can best assist the victims of this latest tragedy. The United States has repeatedly condemned the epidemic of sexual violence in conflict zones around the world and continues to speak out strongly on this issue. We support efforts to protect local populations, especially women and girls, against sexual and gender-based violence and bring to justice those who commit such acts. The United States is committed to working with the DRC and we urge the Government to fully investigate, arrest, and prosecute those found responsible for these attacks.

PRN: 2011/1121