Congo: Voices of Grassroots Congolese Women on the Crisis in the DRC

By R.E.A.L. Organization • on August 10, 2009

Congo: Voices of Grassroots Congolese Women on the Crisis in the DRC
– Congo – Women speak out against misogynist violence and oppression of women…

Clinton demands end to sexual violence in Congo
—- Clinton: “”We believe there should be no impunity for the sexual and gender-based violence committed by so many — that there must be arrests and prosecutions and punishment”
— Related reports: Congo: Hillary Clinton Pledges to ‘Banish Sexual Violence’
– “Women and girls in particular have been victimized on an unimaginable scale, as sexual and gender-based violence has become a tactic of war and has reached epidemic proportions. Some 1,100 rapes are reported each month, with an average of 36 women and girls raped every day.”
Sec. Clinton Vows to ‘Banish Sexual Violence’
Clinton Leaves Her Mark on Congo’s Rape Zone
Clinton Puts Spotlight On Women’s Issues

Rape in Congo: What got me was the laughter

–  A Broken U.N. Promise in Congo

According to V-Day reports on the Congo war, “[a]n estimated 5 million people have died here since 1996, with over 250,000 victims of rape.”  U.S. Department of State Secretary Hillary Clinton recently reported from a trip to the Congo: “Women and girls in particular have been victimized on an unimaginable scale, as sexual and gender-based violence has become a tactic of war and has reached epidemic proportions. Some 1,100 rapes are reported each month, with an average of 36 women and girls raped every day.”  This misogyny against women in Africa includes the use of rape as acts of war by military and terrorist organizations.  Regarding the ongoing war in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the United Nations reports that “the Congolese army, security sector personnel, and several armed groups still use sexual violence as a weapon of war in the DRC. Further, international actors, including UN personnel, have been implicated in perpetrating sexual violence in the DRC.”  While the United States is providing funding for medical care and support for rape victims in the Congo, it must also set expectations for President Kabila to prosecute Congo military involved in such sexual violence, and U.N. Secretary Ban to ensure action against any UN personnel involved in such sexual violence.  The violence in the Congo is linked to violence in Sudan (where a human genocide continues to rage) and Uganda on its borders.  In addition, these rapes are also performed by the Uganda rebel terrorist organization, the “Lords Resistance Army” (LRA).  The LRA terrorist organization claims to seek to create theocratic state based on the Ten Commandments, while murdering and raping other Christians and destroying their churches.  In addition to setting expectations for the Congo and U.N. leaders, we must have a continued commitment against the LRA Ugandan terrorist organization, and Christian organizations must publicly and aggressively reject the actions of the LRA.  The continuing conflicts in the Congo, Uganda, and Sudan must be a priority for Africans, Christians, Muslims and human beings around the world.