UN Report Introduction

I. Introduction
1. On 15 November 2012, renewed fighting broke out between combatants of the Mouvement
du 23 mars (M23) armed group and soldiers of the Forces armées de la République
démocratique du Congo (FARDC) to the north of the town of Goma, North Kivu province.
After five days of combat, M23 rebels seized and occupied the town of Goma on 20
November 2012, advancing to the town of Sake, Masisi territory, on 22 November 2012.
FARDC soldiers meanwhile retreated towards Minova, Kalehe territory, South Kivu
province, where they regrouped. On 1 December 2012, following the International
Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) communiqué of 24 November 2012, M23
rebels began to withdraw from Goma, a process which continued the following day.
2. The United Nations Joint Human Rights Office (UNJHRO)1 received several allegations of
violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, including sexual violence,
arbitrary executions and violations resulting from widespread looting, reportedly committed
by both FARDC soldiers during combat and retreat, and by combatants of the M23 during
combat and the period of occupation of Goma and Sake. Once informed of such allegations,
the UNJHRO increased its monitoring and investigation activities in and around Goma. The
present report focuses on the human rights violations that occurred between 15 November
and 2 December 2012 during the fall of Goma and Sake, North Kivu, and the retreat of
FARDC towards Minova, South Kivu.
3. The information contained in this report only reflects the cases confirmed by the UNJHRO
in the context of the constraints outlined below. Thus, this report does not intend to present a
comprehensive examination of the human rights situation in all areas affected by the conflict
between the M23 and the FARDC during the period from 15 November to 2 December