2,500 rapes committed in eastern Congo in 1st part of 2012

Associated Press

GOMA, Congo - A report by an aid group working to treat victims of sexual violence in eastern Congo says that more than 2,500 people were raped in the first part of 2012 in North Kivu province alone.

The findings published Tuesday by Heal Africa come as the European Union announced it plans to spend $25.8 million (20 million euros) for victims of sexual violence. EU Ambassador Jean-Michel Dumond to the U.N.-backed radio station Radio Okapi that the EU is "trying to intervene."

In its report, Heal Africa said the figure of 2,500 corresponds to rapes that were reported. The actual toll is likely far higher.

Since April, the new M23 rebellion in Congo has created a new cycle of violence and displacement likely to increase the number of sexual violence cases.

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