Stats show perils of living in east Congo

DAKAR, Senegal (AP) -- Imagine living in a place where you have a 50-percent chance of being enslaved or threatened with death by an armed group. A one-in-three chance of being tortured or wounded. A 12-percent chance of being sexually assaulted multiple times.

In some of the roughest parts of eastern Congo, such a life doesn't take much imagination.

These numbers are real for civilians in the country's three worst war-battered provinces, according to a new report.

Titled "Living With Fear," the report offers hard evidence on what many people in Congo already know: Two years after the Central African nation held its first free elections in half a century, life is as dangerous as ever for many in the east. That's despite the presence of one of the largest U.N. peacekeeping forces in the world.

The report is based on rare polling data carried out by an international human rights group and the research centers of two prominent American universities.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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