ANGOLA: UN Slams Rapes in Angola Expulsions

Monday, November 8, 2010
Southern Africa
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
Sexual and Gender-Based Violence
Human Rights

A special UN representative on Saturday condemned alleged rapes of women deported from Angola to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and demanded an investigation.

"I call upon the authorities of both countries to investigate these allegations," said Margot Wallstroem, the secretary-general's special representative for sexual violence in conflict.

"I expect the authorities of Angola and the DRC to respect human rights and to do everything in their power to prevent abuses of all kinds during any further expulsions," she continued.

"Although we do not currently know exactly where these alleged rapes have taken place and by whom they have been committed, it is of utmost importance that the allegations of atrocities are followed up immediately and that perpetrators are brought to justice by the national authorities of the country or countries concerned."

Angola in October expelled more than 6 000 people to the Democratic Republic of Congo, the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (Ocha) said on Friday, adding that many had been raped.

According to UN agencies and non-governmental organisations, the expulsions of people with illegal status took place from Angola to the provinces of Bas-Congo, Bandundu and mainly Kasai-Occidental in southwest DRC.

Since 2004, more than 400 000 illegal immigrants, nearly all Congolese, have been expelled from Angola's mining provinces in "Operation Diamond", which is aimed at fighting the illegal traffic in Angola's diamonds.