(Photo: Deccan Chronicle)

Researchers have revealed that rising rape of men and boys by armed groups in Central African Republic is under-reported.

According to a report, researchers have identified dozens of cases of men and boys being raped during armed attacks when they were captive, or because they refused to join armed groups.

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“An international research group, All Survivors Project, was one of the first to document sex crimes against males in the war-torn country, where respondents tend to focus on female survivors,” experts said.

Findings point to a discernible pattern of male sexual victimisation that warrants urgent attention, it said.

CAR has been driven by sectarian conflict since Muslim-majority Seleka rebels ousted President Francois Bozize in 2013, triggering a backlash by mostly Christian anti-balaka militias.

“Fighters have used sexual violence against men and boys as a tool to humiliate, emasculate, and terrorise perceived enemies.

“Our research only gives a glimpse into what is happening,” said the group’s director, Charu Hogg.