10 January 2014

Rape of Congo

Justice was supposedly served in 2011, a LtCol was prosecuted and sentenced. Typically military establishments prosecute the commander-in-charge by claiming he lost discipline of his men, allowing the military to officially condemn the act of the atrocity, even though it is well known that acts of atrocity are inherent in war itself.  As a bonus, the judicial decision gets praised as a landmark in favor of women’s rights. Most importantly, war as a political option remains intact; however, war is a package deal, of which atrocity and gang rape are part of the package. Rinse and repeat.

DR Congo officers in rape and war crimes trial
Thirty-nine government soldiers accused of war crimes have gone on trial in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Most of the charges relate to the mass rape and other acts of sexual violence against more than 130 women and girls in November 2012 by a retreating army. The military trial comes after months of international pressure after some officers were suspended but no soldiers tried. Soldiers, who requested anonymity, admitted to the BBC in April that they had raped women in Minova, but said they had acted under orders from above.

UN in DR Congo 'army rape' ultimatum
08 Mar 2013
The UN peace force in the Democratic Republic of Congo has issued an ultimatum to two units within the army over allegations of mass rape. It said it had evidence of at least 126 rapes carried out by soldiers fleeing a rebel offensive. Armed groups in eastern DR Congo often use rape as a weapon of war. The region's mineral riches have been plundered by numerous groups and countries over the past two decades.

DR Congo colonel Kibibi Mutware jailed for mass rape
21 Feb 2011
A military court in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo investigating a case of mass rape has sentenced Lt Col Kibibi Mutware to 20 years in jail. He was found guilty of crimes against humanity for sending his troops to rape, beat up and loot from the population of Fizi on New Year's Day. Crowds surrounded the vehicles which took away the soldiers and began shouting. "The people are not happy with this judgement; the people were expecting the death sentence," one man in the crowd told the BBC.

Soldiers on trial charged with DR Congo mass rapes
09 Feb 2011
An army officer in the Democratic Republic of Congo and 10 other soldiers have gone on trial at a military court over an alleged mass rape of civilians. Prosecutors say Lt Col Kibibi Mutware and the other soldiers, including three officers, raped at least 35 women. Military and humanitarian sources say the events on New Year's Day began when a mob lynched a soldier who had shot a civilian - allegedly in a fight over a woman. A group of soldiers then allegedly took revenge on the people of Fizi, injuring at least 26 besides the rape victims.

Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize  Acceptance Speech, Excerpt
10 Dec 2009
Oslo, Norway
When there is genocide in Darfur, systematic rape in Congo, repression in Burma -- there must be consequences. Yes, there will be engagement; yes, there will be diplomacy -- but there must be consequences when those things fail. And the closer we stand together, the less likely we will be faced with the choice between armed intervention and complicity in oppression.

UN investigates claims of mass rape by DR Congo rebels
24 Aug 2010
The United Nations is investigating claims that rebel fighters raped more than 150 women and baby boys in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The attacks happened over four days within miles of a UN base, a US aid worker and a Congolese doctor said. Aid workers and UN representatives knew that rebels had occupied Luvungi town and surrounding villages in eastern DR Congo the day after the attack began on 30 July. According to reports, the rebels gang-raped nearly 200 women and some baby boys over four days before leaving. A UN joint human rights team confirmed allegations of the rape of at least 154 women by fighters from the Rwandan FDLR militia and Congolese Mai-Mai rebels in the village of Bunangiri, Mr Nesirky said.

UN official calls DR Congo 'rape capital of the world'
28 Apr 2010
The Democratic Republic of Congo is "the rape capital of the world", a senior UN official Margot Wallstrom has said. Rape remained a dominant feature of the ongoing conflict in eastern DR Congo, with impunity being the rule rather than the exception, she said. More than 8,000 women were raped during fighting in 2009, the UN says.

In April, research on sexual violence in DR Congo's eastern South Kivu province produced shocking findings. The report by the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative showed that 60% of rape victims in South Kivu were gang raped by armed men, more than half of the assaults took place in the victims' homes and an increasing number of attacks were being carried out by civilians. Eastern DR Congo is still plagued by army and militia violence despite the end of the country's five-year war in 2003.

"Rape of a Nation” by Marcus Bleasdale - photographic and video documentary

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