The Congolese rights group told the United Nations Security Council on Wednesday that militants have abducted a Congolese woman twice in the Democratic Republic of Congo, repeatedly raping and forcing her to eat human flesh.
Julianne Lusenge, chairwoman of the women’s rights group Women’s Solidarity for Integrated Peace and Development (SOFEPADI), told the story of a woman when addressing a 15-member council on the conflict in the east.
The UN Security Council has been convening for a regular briefing on the Congo, where heavy fighting between the government and rebel groups has sparked violence since the end of May.
Lucienge said the CODECO militants abducted the woman when she went to give ransom to another family member who was abducted. The woman told the rights group that she was repeatedly raped and physically abused. She said the militants then strangled a man.
“He took out his gut and asked me to cook them. He brought me two water containers to prepare the rest of the meal. Then he ate human flesh for all the prisoners,” Lucange told the Security Council, describing the woman’s story.
The woman was released a few days later, but Lucienge said another militia group was kidnapped and repeatedly raped by their members while trying to return home.
“Once again I was asked to cook and eat human flesh,” a woman who eventually escaped told Sophepadi.
Lucenz did not name a second militant group during his council briefing. CODECO could not be reached for comment.
CODECO is one of several armed forces that have long fought over land and resources in the mineral-rich east of Congo – which has killed thousands and displaced millions over the past decade.
The Congolese army has been locked in heavy fighting since the end of May with a group of M23 rebels carrying out its most sustained offensive since the 2012-2013 uprising that has captured a vast area.
UN peacekeepers have been deployed in Congo for more than 20 years.