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"Sticks in Vaginas:" This Is What a Massacre Looks Like

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Editor's Warning:

Photos in this article are stomach-wrenchingly graphic. 

This is what a massacre looks like... 

The subject line on the email was "Rape, Killing, and Mutilation Report."  It came in this morning as I was brewing coffee, and I was certainly not prepared for the photos it contained. The sender was a long-time internal source at United Nations Stabilization Mission in Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO), but I had not heard from the source in over a year. Maybe two.

"Would you publish it and share it with friends, NGO of Human Rights and other organizations for necessary actions to end such violence flaring the country especially Masisi-Rutshuru in North-Kivu Province?"

My source had never approached me in this manner; essentially pleading for help to publicize a massacre.

Attached in subsequent emails were graphic photos that make everything I have witnessed in Central Africa over the years seem tame by comparison. I thought I had seen it all, but I was wrong. The heinous photos are included below, with some hesitation. 

Other attachments included a detailed internal summary of militia groups operating in eastern Congo that included leaders, troop strengths, locations, weapons stockpile estimates, and likely coalitions. Finally, the source provided the CLA report on the massacre (s) that happened at the hands of the 1000-1500 strong Nyatura rebel group. The Nyatura are Congolese Hutus and formed the rebel organization in 2010 in Lumbishi due to a land dispute with Tutsis. The victims in this massacre were Hunde, traditional tribal chieftains in Masisi.

Community Liaison Assistants (CLAs) generate reports that provide analysis in a way that ensures the safety of MONUSCO staff and of the civilian informants providing them with information on atrocities. "However, in the course of that report you will find that the victims were IDP's (internally displaced persons) that had gone to fetch for food into their abandoned farms then accidentally met the assailants without any means of alerting MONUSCO. Cell phones were not working. Thanks for understanding," the source wrote. 

The written report on the atrocities was especially obscene. 

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Georgianne Nienaber is an investigative environmental and political writer. She lives in rural northern Minnesota, New Orleans and South Florida. Her articles have appeared in The Society of Professional Journalists' Online Quill (more...)

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"Sticks in Vaginas:" This Is What a Massacre Looks Like