The FDLR were a constant threat to the civilian population in the Kivus and Maniema province and were responsible for unlawful killings, abductions, looting and burning of homes. An FDLR battalion in Walikale territory, North Kivu, joined forces with the Sheka Mayi-Mayi group and perpetrated a number of abuses in the territory. Shabunda territory in South Kivu was regularly attacked by the FDLR; 40 villagers were abducted in March.
Other local armed groups, including the Mayi-Mayi, the Alliance Pour le Congo Libre et Souverain (APCLS) in Masisi, the Coalition of Congolese Patriotic Resistance (PARECO) in North Kivu, the Forces Républicaines Fédéralistes (FRF) in Fizi in South Kivu, the Front de Résistance Patriotique d’Ituri (FRPI) and the Front Populaire pour la Justice au Congo (FPJC), were also active. Armed groups attacked MONUSCO bases in North Kivu in August and October, and attacked and abducted humanitarian workers on a number of occasions.
Armed groups and government forces were responsible for hundreds of unlawful killings of civilians and attacks on humanitarian personnel. Civilian resistance to theft, forced labour and other abuses by armed forces was frequently met with unlawful killings and other acts of violence.
- In February, the FDLR allegedly abducted 15 women and killed five of them in Mwenga territory, South Kivu.
- At least 20 people detained in the military jails of Mbandaka, Equateur province, were allegedly executed by FARDC soldiers on the night of 4/5 April.
- On 21 May, a woman was allegedly shot dead in Kalehe, South Kivu, by an FARDC soldier for refusing to carry military supplies.
- On 1 July, two FARDC soldiers reportedly killed a man, raped his 12-year-old daughter and killed another man who tried to rescue them in a village in Walungu territory, South Kivu. Two other women in the household were ill-treated and several houses were looted.
Rape and other forms of sexual violence were widespread, committed by government security forces, including the National Police, and armed groups. Insufficient access to health care and impunity for perpetrators aggravated the situation for rape survivors. Members of security forces responsible for sexual violence were often protected by superior officers or allowed to escape by prison staff.
- Between 30 July and 2 August, more than 300 women, men and children were raped in a series of attacks on 13 villages in the Walikale territory, North Kivu, by a coalition of the FDLR, Mayi-Mayi and deserters from the FARDC. During the attacks, villagers were rounded up, roads and communication were blocked and the assailants systematically looted houses and raped those seeking to hide or escape.
- Within one week in April, 16 cases of rape by government forces were reported, including a case of gang rape by National Police officers, during fighting in Mbandaka, Equateur province.
- On 6 August, 10 women were reportedly raped in Katalukulu, Fizi territory, by FARDC soldiers, apparently in reprisal for a Mayi-Mayi attack.
Children continued to be recruited and used by armed groups in eastern DRC. The LRA and the FDLR abducted children and used them as fighters or as domestic and sexual slaves.
Many children also served in the FARDC. Some were former members of armed groups who had not been identified during integration into the FARDC in March 2009. Others were new recruits. Although the FARDC formally ended recruitment of children in 2004, the Child Protection Code adopted in January 2009 was largely unimplemented and the government had no plan of action to separate children from armed forces as required by UN Security Council resolutions 1539 (2004) and 1612 (2005).
Internally displaced people and refugees
The number of internally displaced people rose to nearly two million in August. Most were in North and South Kivu and Orientale provinces. Living conditions were very poor both within camps and within host communities and the displaced were vulnerable to attacks by armed groups.