Rights groups fear too many civilians are dying in the Democratic Republic of Congo in a UN-backed government offensive. The UN says the offensive is needed to stop the rapes and killings in the lawless country. But something also needs to be done in the neighbouring Congo Republic, as gunmen step up banditry and rape in the nation’s Pool region, a commercial crossroads between the capital, Brazzaville, and the oil port of Pointe-Noire. Attacks by rebels called Ninjas were meant to have stopped after they joined a disarmament programme last year, but officials say truck drivers are being flagged down and robbed.
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