Naama Haviv, executive director of Panzi Foundation USA, said 34 infants and young girls from Kavumu had been treated at the hospital in the last two years.
“While we’ve seen very significant violence against women and girls in Congo, what’s new and particularly devastating about this crisis is that it is centred in one community. It seems that children are specifically being targeted,” Haviv told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
“The perpetrators are breaking into the homes at night and stealing away the girls, violating them sometimes over a number of days, sometimes just that night, and often times returning the children to their homes and to their parents,” she said by telephone from Los Angeles, California.
Haviv said it was not clear who was behind the attacks or what was driving the violence.