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According to the latest United Nations report rape is a way of waging war in Eastern Congo.

In the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, tens of thousands of women and girls are raped with near impunity and with brute force.

Criminals can be found on almost all sides of the conflict: civilians, fighters, armed groups and members of the Congolese army. In most cases, women are raped by several people at once, often using whatever objects – sticks or guns – are at hand.

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Very often women are raped in front of their children, husbands, relatives or neighbors. This shows that rape is used as a weapon of war to punish or humiliate women or the community to which they belong.

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According to the UN report, about 40 women are raped every day in South Kivu province, but these are only official figures, at least 10-20 cases of rape are simply not reported.

Between 2005 and 2007, 14,200 cases of rape were reported in the province. In North Kivu, there are no complete statistics at all, although an average of 350 cases are reported each month.

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