UN envoy says UN peacekeeping patrols were not informed of mass rapes by villagersBy Edith M. Lederer, AP
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
UN patrols were not informed about rapes
UNITED NATIONS — The top U.N. envoy in Congo says peacekeeping patrols were not informed by villagers that mass rapes were taking place, and the United Nations is now working to improve communications and prevent any recurrence.
Roger Meece, the new U.N. special representative, said the reported rapes of at least 154 Congolese women — which U.N. peacekeepers didn’t learn about for nearly two weeks — showed that the force’s actions to protect civilians were insufficient and need to be reviewed.
He said Wednesday by videoconference from Goma in eastern Congo that one idea being pursued is to have local villages report to the U.N.’s base at Kibua every day and to assume there is a problem and send a patrol if they don’t.