Report on human rights violations perpetrated near Sake, Goma and Minova
On 20 and 22 November 2012, and until the beginning of their withdrawal on 1 December 2012, combatants of the March 23 Movement (M23) rebellion seized Goma and Sake, North Kivu, while troops of the Congolese armed forces (FARDC) retreated towards Minova, South Kivu province. The present report outlines gross violations of human rights and serious violations of international humanitarian law, including killings and arbitrary executions, mass rape, and widespread looting, committed by FARDC soldiers during combat and retreat, and by combatants of the M23 during combat and the period of occupation of Goma and Sake between 15 November and 2 December 2012. The violations of human rights law and of international humanitarian law committed by FARDC soldiers were mostly perpetrated by FARDC units when they retreated from Goma and regrouped in and around the town of Minova, Kalehe territory, South Kivu province. At least 102 women and 33 girls were victims of rape or other acts of sexual violence perpetrated by FARDC soldiers. FARDC soldiers were also responsible for arbitrary executions, violations of the right to physical integrity, cases of forced labour and the widespread looting of villages. During the period of occupation of Goma and Sake by the M23, gross human rights violations and serious violations of international humanitarian law were committed, including at least 58 rapes committed by M23 combatants in Goma and its surrounding areas. At least 11 civilians were arbitrarily executed by M23 combatants. The UNJHRO also documented cases of recruitment and use of children, forced labour, cruel inhuman or degrading treatment, and looting by M23 rebels during the same period.
Publication date: 8 May 2013