A Minotaur 1 rocket, carrying the Operationally Responsive Space 1 (ORS 1) satellite, lifts off from Wallop Island, Virginia in this undated handout photograph provided June 30, 2011. ORS 1 will support the military's intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance needs by hosting an innovative sensor system. REUTERS/Thom Baur/Orbital Sciences/Handout
John Vandiver, “US-trained Congolese Battalion Among Units Accused of Rape,” Stars and Stripes, May 10, 2013.
For U.S. diplomats and military officials who were involved in training a Congolese army unit, a troubling question loomed: Would the 391st Commando Battalion serve as protectors of the population or would they revert to acts of sexual violence once on the battlefield?
A United Nations report released this week indicates that their worst fears have been realized and that efforts at building up a Congolese unit of benevolent soldiers has failed. The report, issued Wednesday by the United Nations Joint Human Rights Office, accused members of the 391st Commando Battalion — which was trained by special forces troops assigned to U.S. Africa Command — and other Democratic Republic of Congo troops of engaging in a range of atrocities, including the mass rape of women and young girls in eastern Congo.