As many as 248 women in Central Africa’s Democratic Republic of Congo say they were attacked by soldiers during a violent two–day crime spree in June, the AFP reports.
The attacks, which allegedly happened between June 10 and June 12 in the areas of Nakiele (where 121 women reported being raped), Abala (which saw 55 reports) and Kanguli (which saw 72 reports), were committed by at least 150 armed soldiers commanded by runaway national army Colonel Nyiragire Kulimushi. Kulimushi, formerly part of the Mai Mai tribal militia before the group merged with the national army, fled a military base near Nakiele June 8. All of the areas where the attacks allegedly occurred are miles away from each other.
The government is “actively” searching for Kulimushi, said government spokesman Lambert Mende, according to the AFP.
In May, a report from the American Journal of Public Health revealed that 48 women and girls are raped each hour in the nation, which has been plagued by conflict and corruption. Those figures were far higher than those previously reported by the United Nations.