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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Sravasti Dasgupta

Kidnapped Congolese woman repeatedly raped and forced to eat human flesh, rights group says


A Congolese woman was kidnapped by militants in the Democratic Republic of Congo, tied up, beaten, stripped, and forced to cook and eat human flesh, a rights group told the United Nations Security Council on Wednesday.

Julienne Lusenge, president of the Female Solidarity for Integrated Peace and Development, Democratic Republic of the Congo, spoke about the worsening security situation in the country due to terrorism by armed groups.

Ms Lusenge referred to one Congolese woman, who after providing ransom money for a family member who was kidnapped, was tied up, beaten, stripped of her clothes and asked by her kidnappers to cook, and together with other prisoners, eat the flesh of a Nande man killed by the Codeco (Cooperative for Development of the Congo) militia.

“They pulled out his entrails and they asked me to cook them. They brought me two water containers to prepare the rest of the meal. They then fed all of the prisoners human flesh,” Ms Lusenge said, recounting the woman’s story.

Though the woman was released after a few days, she was kidnapped by another militia group while she was returning home. The members of this second group also repeatedly raped her.

Ms Lusenge did not name the second armed group.

“Again I was asked to cook and eat human flesh,” the woman, who eventually escaped, told the rights group.

Codeco is one of several armed groups that have long been fighting over land and resources in Congo’s mineral-rich east.

The conflict has killed thousands and displaced millions over the past decade.

The 15-member security council also heard statements from Bintou Keita, special representative of the secretary-general in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the head of the United Nations Organisation Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Monusco).

Ms Keita said that the security situation in the country has deteriorated due to intensified attacks against civilians.

She added that attacks are also being carried out by the Allied Democratic Forces, the Codeco and other armed groups in Ituri and North Kivu Provinces, undermining recent progress and the positive dynamic in recent years between Kinshasha and Kigali.

As the Congolese army and Monusco shifted personnel, other armed groups have sought to take advantage of the resulting security vacuum — with more than 150 civilians killed between 28 May and 17 June, and 700,000 people displaced, she said.

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