UN chief: 52 armies and groups suspected of sexual violence

International

In this photo provided by the United Nations, Heiko Maas, Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs of Germany, speaks in a pre-recorded message which was played during the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, at UN headquarters in New York. (Rick Bajornas/UN Photo via AP)

UNITED NATIONS (AP) – The United Nations chief says the COVID-19 pandemic led to “a spike” in gender-based violence last year.

And Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a report circulated Monday that combatants continued to use sexual violence “as a cruel tactic of war, terror, torture and political repression” in a number of countries.

The report focuses on 18 countries where the U.N. said it has obtained verified information.

It lists 52 parties “credibly suspected” of responsibility “for patterns of rape or other forms of sexual violence” in conflicts on the agenda of the U.N. Security Council.

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