Hundreds of civilians, most of them women and children, appear to have been massacred by rival armed factions in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay revealed today. While Pillay said that reports were still being verified, she added that "the sheer viciousness of these murders is beyond comprehension," and may constitute war crimes, Bloomberg reports.
The killings have taken place mostly in the North Kivu region near the Rwandan border, Reuters reports. Insurgent groups there have been battling each other with little interference from the national army, which is busy battling the mutinous M23 faction. Pillay said her office had recorded 45 attacks on 30 villages committed either by the Hutu-dominated Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda and their allies the Nyatura, or their Tutsi rivals, the Raia Mutumboki. The Congo has rejected calls for an African intervention force.