240 women sexually molested in DR Congo

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As many as 240 Congolese women expelled from Angola were sexually molested after entering the border area, an official of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) has reported.

The incident occurred during the first half of this year in Tembo village, which is situated in Kasongo-Lunda territory, Kwango district on the side of DR Congo.

This information was revealed on Wednesday in Kinshasa by Andre Gipoy, the president of the provincial synergy in the fight against sexual violence, at the end of an evaluation mission of the sexual violence committed on women at Tembo.

He denounced the sexual harassment done by border personnel using hand-gloves in attempts to find hidden diamonds on the victims.

He said the Tembo region was the center to host the majority of fellow citizens and other Africans who had been expelled from the Angolan Lunda-Norte mining zone.

Since 2004, over 400,000 "illegal" immigrants, mostly DR Congo nationals, were expelled from Angolan mineral rich provinces under an operation dubbed "Diamond". The objective of the operation was to fight against illegal trafficking of Angolan diamonds.

In retaliation for the expulsions, DR Congo started expelling Angolans from its territory in October 2009. The Angolans fled into DR Congo after a civil war broke out in 1975 which lasted till 2002.

In mid-October 2009, DR Congo's President Joseph Kabila and his Angolan counterparts Eduardo dos Santos decided to put on halt the reciprocal expulsions.

Kinshasa accused Luanda of resuming the expulsions early in the year with a number of cases of rape cases reported.

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