Some of the victims in the village of Kavumu were only 18 months old. The men allegedly attacked young girls between 2013 and 2016. One of the defendants, Frederic Batumike, is a provincial legislator. Human rights groups hope that the trial will help end a culture of rape as a tool of war. The Democratic Republic of the Congo was labeled “the capital of the violation of the world” by Margot Wallstrom, the former UN special representative on sexual violence in the conflict.

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