Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) security forces, together with the Kamuina Nsapu and Bana Mura militias, have committed “crimes against humanity and war crimes” says the United Nations (UN) following an investigation.

“We are shocked by this disastrous situation that has claimed the lives of several thousand people and continues to rage in the region, without provoking national or international attention,” said Bacre Waly Ndiaye, President of the Team of International Experts appointed by the Human Rights Council.

The experts believed that following an upsurge in violence, which has swept the Kasai region since 2016, civilian killings, including those of children, and atrocities – such as mutilations, rapes and other forms of sexual violence, torture and exterminations – were committed in a generalised and systematic fashion, constituting crimes against humanity.

The experts revealed that two years after the conflict began, the crimes and destruction continue – resulting in some 1.4 million people internally displaced, and another 35,000 who have fled to Angola.

Women have been enslaved and some abuses may also amount to ethnic persecution.

While warning of an alarming humanitarian situation that has been particularly harsh on children, the team flagged that the Kamuina Nsapu militia also recruited boys and girls. 

According to the World Food Programme and the Food and Agriculture Organization, about 3.2 million people continue to be severely food insecure, and malnutrition rates, especially for children, are high.

- African News Agency (ANA)