The UN Secretary-General, Ban-Ki Moon, has dispatched an assistant to the Democratic Republic of Congo after reports of mass rape in North Kivu.
Special Representative Roger Meece and Assistant Secretary-General in the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), Atul Khare, are both looking into allegations that as many as 154 civilians had been raped in just three days by armed groups in Banamukira territory between 30 July and 2 August.
Atul Khare will visit the towns of Goma, Kirumba, Kibua, Bukavu and Uvira.
Fighting in the East of DRC is continuing despite the establishment of a formal government in 2006. The tensions between pro and anti government sympathies are exacerbated by local animosities and the presence of armed groups from Rwanda, Southern Sudan and Uganda.
During two Congolese wars and continued civil unrest, it is estimated that up to 5.4 million people have died as a result of prolonged conflict, disease and famine.
A report documenting the most serious human rights violations committed in DRC between 1993 and 2003 will be made public by the UN on 1st October 2010.