Monday, March 07, 2005

Rape in the Congo

Despite the peace agreement and broad-based transition process in the D.R. Congo, which began in 2003, soldiers of the national army and armed groups continue to perpetrate sexual violence in the eastern provinces of North Kivu, South Kivu and Orientale. In 1998, armed conflict broke out among the Congolese government, several neighboring countries and various rebel factions. Since then, combatants on all sides have subjected tens of thousands of women and girls—as well as a far smaller number of men and boys—to sexual violence.
Among the problems in warfare in Central Africa is that many of the boys who were abducted to fight in militias were offered rape and sexual violence as a means of gaining their loyalty. Now that Congo is trying (and failing) to unite them into a regular army, the soldiers continue to see sex as their right. Here is the Human Rights Watch report.

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