Crimes, including the serious human rights violations, rapes and killings, that were reportedly committed by members of the Movement for the Liberation of Congo (Mouvement de libération du Congo, MLC) (2002 - May 2005) [RDC43557.FE]

A report from the Secretary-General of the United Nations to the Security Council titled Rapport spécial sur les événements d'Ituri (janvier 2002-décembre 2003) stated that

[UN English version]
it is estimated that 8,000 civilians . . . were deliberately killed or were the victims of indiscriminate use of force from January 2002 to December 2003. . . . Countless women were abducted and became "war wives," while others were raped or sexually abused before being released. More than 600,000 civilians have been forced to flee their homes. Thousands of children aged from 7 to 17 were drawn forcibly or voluntarily into armed groups, placing their very lives at risk and depriving them of a childhood. In addition, entire villages-belonging to all the different ethnic groups-were destroyed (16 July 2004, 5).

The same report indicated that these abuses were carried out by all armed groups present, including the Movement for the Liberation of Congo (Mouvement de libération du Congo, MLC) (United Nations 16 July 2004, 5).

In reference to a 12 October 2002 attack by the MLC and Congolese Rally for Democracy-National (Rassemblement congolais pour la démocratie/National, RCD-N) forces on the town of Mambasa, located on the road to Beni in the territory of Mambasa, the UN Secretary-General's report stated that [UN English version] "the region witnessed a new scale of violence characterized by a premeditated operation and the use of looting, rape and summary execution as tools of warfare" (ibid., 35). During the time they spent in Mambasa, [UN English version] "the MLC and RCD-N forces . . . committed serious human rights abuses such as summary executions, systematic rape, systematic looting and acts of cannibalism" (ibid., 36). Moreover, the MLC and the Union of Congolese Patriots (Union des patriotes congolais, UPC) launched another attack on 20 November 2002 on the town of Mongobwalu, which resulted [UN English version] "in the killing of around 200 civilians and the destruction of infrastructures" (ibid., 34).

Human Rights Watch (HRW) wrote in a March 2005 report that

[HRW English version]
MLC forces have committed numerous acts of sexual violence. In a particularly egregious case of sexual abuse, forces of the former MLC gang-raped about 120 women and girls in two villages in Mongala district, Equateur province, on December 21 and 22, 2003 (7 Mar. 2005, 5).

According to the same report, [HRW English version] "[t]hese former MLC fighters had recently been integrated into the new national army, the FARDC" (HRW 7 Mar. 2005, 5; see also Country Reports 2004 28 Feb. 2005, Sec. 1g).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2004. 28 February 2005. United States Department of State. Washington, DC. [Accessed 17 May 2005]

Human Rights Watch (HRW). 7 March 2005. Vol. 17, No 1(A). "En quête de justice : poursuivre les auteurs de violences sexuelles commises pendant la guerre au Congo." [Accessed 17 May 2005]

United Nations. 16 July 2004. Security Council. Rapport spécial sur les événements d'Ituri (janvier 2002-décembre 2003). (S/2004/573). [Accessed 17 May 2005]

Additional Sources Consulted

Publications: Africa Confidential, Africa Research Bulletin, Jeune Afrique/L'Intelligent, Kessing's Record of World Events, Resource Centre country file.

Internet sites, including: AllAfrica, Amnesty International, Association africaine de défense des droits de l'homme (ASADHO), European Country of Origin Information Network (, Human Rights Watch (HRW), Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN), International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), Missionary Service News Agency (MISNA), United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC), United States Department of State.