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First lady Olive Lembe Kabila led the women through the town of Bukavu. The United Nations recently reported that 303 civilians were raped in 13 nearby villages from July 30 to Aug. 2.

Congo’s top U.N. envoy also said more than 15,000 people were raped in eastern Congo last year. But he said it’s impossible for 18,000 U.N. peacekeepers to protect everyone in the massive area where armed groups operate. Another U.N. official said most attacks were committed by “men in uniform.”

Congo’s defense minister denied soldiers were involved. But the justice minister said courts have prosecuted several officers, including a general.

From wire dispatches and staff reports