‘Dozens kidnapped for ransom’ in eastern DR Congo

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Mary Harper Africa editor, BBC World Service

An international pressure group says dozens of people have been kidnapped for ransom by criminal gangs in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Human Rights Watch said more than half of those taken between 2017 and 2020 were women.

Most were raped, sometimes many times a day. People are taken from their fields into Virunga National Park.

Some families have sold their land in order to pay ransoms.

A Rwandan rebel group, RUD-Urunana, operates in the region but it is not clear whether it is responsible for the kidnappings.