A Congolese rights organization informed the United Nations Security Council on Wednesday that a woman had been kidnapped twice by militants in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, repeatedly raped, and forced to cook and consume human flesh.
The woman's experience was shared with the 15-member council by Julienne Lusenge, president of the women's rights organization Female Solidarity for Integrated Peace and Development (SOFEPADI), as she discussed the conflict-torn east of the Congo.
The U.N. Security Council was convening for its routine briefing on the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where escalating violence has been caused by severe combat between the government and rebel groups since late May.
According to Lusenge, the woman was abducted by CODECO terrorists when she went to pay a ransom for another family member who had been taken, hostage. The woman disclosed to the rights organization that she had endured several rapes and physical torture. The extremists, she said, cut a man's throat.
“They wanted me to prepare his entrails once they had pulled them out. To finish the meal, they brought me two water containers. The inmates were subsequently fed human flesh, “Lusenge presented the woman's tale to the Security Council.
After a few days, according to Lusenge, the woman was freed, but while she was attempting to go home, she was abducted by a different militia organisation, the members of which again repeatedly violated her.
The woman, who managed to flee, informed SOFEPADI, “Again I was requested to cook and eat human flesh.”
During her briefing to the council, Lusenge omitted to name the second militant organization. It was impossible to contact CODECO for comment.
In the mineral-rich east of the Congo, various armed militias have been fighting for years over resources and land.
Over the past ten years, this conflict has resulted in thousands of fatalities and millions of displaced people.
Since late May, the M23 rebel group has been engaged in fierce combat with the Congolese army. This is the group's longest offensive since a 2012–2013 uprising that resulted in the seizure of sizable portions of the country.