"Between January and September 2009, government and rebel forces deliberately killed more than 1,400 civilians in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. All sides brutally targeted civilians and their property during two successive Congolese army operations against a Rwandan Hutu militia, the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR). The first military operation was conducted jointly with Rwandan military forces and the second, still continuing at the time of publication, is with the support of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Congo, MONUC. The military operations were intended to bring peace and security to this volatile region, but they have not. Troops from both sides accused local populations of being 'collaborators.' They have deliberately attacked civilians to 'punish' them, chopping them to death by machete, shooting civilians dead while they flee, and burning them in their homes. Thousands of women and girls have been gang-raped, some so violently that they later died. More than 9,000 homes and other structures have been burned to the ground and an estimated 900,000 people have fled for their lives. UN peacekeepers made important efforts to protect civilians in this complex and difficult terrain. But MONUC's role as a joint player in the military operations, through its substantial support to the Congolese army, has implicated UN peacekeepers in the abuses and undermined the mission's primary objective to protect civilians. This report documents the serious abuses committed by the FDLR, the Congolese army and, in some instances, the Rwandan army, during the military operations. Many of the abuses amount to war crimes and could be crimes against humanity. The report calls for the UN to urgently appoint a Civilian Protection Expert Group to investigate the situation and recommend concrete measures to improve civilian protection and end impunity for the serious crimes."--P.  of PDF cover.
"This report was researched and written by Ida Sawyer and Anneke Van Woudenberg, researchers in the Africa Division of Human Rights Watch."--P. 183. "December 2009"--Table of contents page.