Saturday, November 06, 2010

Congo / Sexual Violence against Women

Hundreds Were Raped on Congo-Angola Border
By Jeffrey Gettleman
The New York Times, November 5, 2010
"More than 600 women and girls were recently raped along the Congo-Angola border during a mass expulsion of illegal immigrants, according to the United Nations. Many of the victims said they were locked in dungeon-like conditions for several weeks while they were raped repeatedly by security forces. At least one woman died from her internal injuries, United Nations officials said. Maurizio Giuliano, a United Nations spokesman in the Democratic Republic of Congo, said Friday that it was unclear on which side of the Congo-Angola border the women had been attacked, and that the United Nations was calling on both countries to investigate promptly. 'What worries us is that rape seems to be becoming endemic in several parts of Congo,' Mr. Giuliano said, also referring to recent rapes in the eastern Kivu provinces. 'We fear it’s becoming part of the routine.' For the past decade, Congo has been torn apart by dozens of rebel groups that have often swept into villages and brutalized women. United Nations officials call Congo the worst place in the world for sexual violence, and even the longstanding presence of international peacekeepers has not been able to stop it. A few months ago, more than 200 women were raped in a single thatched-roof village in eastern Congo while United Nations peacekeepers were less than 12 miles away. [...]"

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