Congo's Sexual Violence Goes 'Far Beyond Rape'

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Congo's Sexual Violence Goes 'Far Beyond Rape'

GENEVA -- Atrocities in Congo's volatile province of South Kivu extend "far beyond rape" and include sexual slavery, forced incest and cannibalism, a U.N. human rights expert said Monday.

Yakin Erturk called the situation the worst she has seen in four years as the special investigator for violence against women. Sexual violence in Congo is "rampant," she said, blaming rebel groups, the armed forces and national police.

"These acts amount to war crimes and, in some cases, crimes against humanity," Erturk said.

Rebel groups that fled to Congo after taking part in the Rwandan genocide of the 1990s have committed many of the abuses, she said.


· MOSCOW -- Russian prosecutors have asked a Moscow court to issue an arrest warrant for businessman Boris Berezovsky in connection with a new criminal case, authorities said. The Kremlin has been stepping up efforts to discredit Berezovsky, an outspoken critic of President Vladimir Putin who has been granted political asylum by Britain.


· BEIJING -- North Korea has cooperated fully with U.N. nuclear experts who were monitoring the shutdown and sealing of the country's sole plutonium-producing reactor, the team's leader said Tuesday.

· BEIJING -- Water levels were set to peak Tuesday at China's huge Three Gorges Dam as another 27 deaths were reported from flooding and landslides, New China News Agency said. Heavy rains also closed Beijing's airport, stranding almost 10,000 passengers Monday night,

· DHAKA, Bangladesh -- Bangladesh's High Court suspended former prime minister Sheikh Hasina's extortion trial and ordered her released on bail, her attorney said.

Hasina, who led the government from 1996 to 2001, was arrested July 16 on charges of extorting $441,000.

· BEIJING -- The Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding has come up with a dung-for-profit scheme that turns waste from pandas into odor-free souvenirs, including photo frames, bookmarks and Olympic-themed statues of the animals, state media said.

-- From News Services

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