UN-backed Congo troops killing civilians
A UN-backed Congolese military operation to oust rebels from eastern Congo has caused more civilian casualties than damage to rebels, with more than 1,400 people deliberately killed over a nine-month period, human rights groups said yesterday.
Human Rights Watch said it had documented "vicious and widespread" attacks against civilians by soldiers and rebels between January and September. Soldiers being fed and supplied with ammunition by the United Nations have killed civilians, gang-raped girls and cut the heads off some young men they accuse of being rebels or supporting the enemy, groups said.
"For every rebel combatant disarmed, one civilian has been killed, seven women and girls have been raped, six houses have been burned and destroyed and 900 people have been forced to flee their homes," British-based organization Oxfam said.