UN Report Methodology

II. Methodology
4. UNJHRO field presences conducted human rights monitoring and investigation activities2 in
the areas affected by the conflict in and around Goma, North Kivu. In addition to monitoring
activities in and around Goma, the UNJHRO conducted two investigation missions to
Minova and surrounding villages, Kalehe territory, South Kivu province, from 6 to 8
December 2012 and from 11 to 14 December 2012, one mission to Sake, Masisi territory,
North Kivu, on 30 November 2012 and one mission to Bweremana, Masisi territory, North
Kivu, on 17 December 2012. These missions were, on occasion, conducted jointly with
other sections of MONUSCO, including Child Protection.
5. UNJHRO staff conducted over 350 interviews with victims and direct and indirect witnesses
to the human rights violations described in this report. The teams also met with representatives of civil society organizations and other local sources in order to gather as
much information as possible concerning the reports of human rights violations. In Minova,
UNJHRO staff met with local administrative and military authorities, and held follow-up
meetings with judicial authorities from North Kivu and South Kivu.
6. Owing to protection concerns for victims, witnesses and other sources, UNJHRO staff
limited conspicuous contact with key interlocutors. UNJHRO staff also faced security
constraints, which prevented access to certain areas including during the occupation of
Goma and Sake. Furthermore, other potential sources of information were not available to
UNJHRO staff, including people who had been displaced from the area as a result of the
violence, and people who preferred not to give information for fear of reprisals. In terms of
investigating sexual violence in particular, considering the stigma associated with rape in the
area and the fear of repudiation by their families, victims are often reluctant to report cases.
For these reasons, the UNJHRO was not able to verify all of the allegations it received.
7. During combat between FARDC soldiers and combatants of the M23 around Goma and
Sake between 15 November and 30 November 2012, at least 17 people, including at least
two boys, were reportedly killed and some 139 civilians were injured, including at least 25
children aged from 2 to 17. At this stage it is not possible to determine the exact
circumstances of these incidents, or to indicate whether parties to the conflict took adequate
precautions, in accordance with international humanitarian law.