More Mass Rape on Congo’s Border
This article is a few days old but it’s the first I’ve seen it. It’s from the NYT:
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.”
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.
According to United Nations officials, the women along the border were raped in September and October at several locations during an expulsion of more than 6,000 illegal Congolese and other immigrants from Angola.
The two countries often expel each other’s citizens. Last year, Angola expelled 160,000 Congolese, while Congo expelled 51,000 Angolans, according to United Nations officials. Angola is fast becoming an economic powerhouse, with a booming oil business and diamond exports, after decades of intense civil war.
The United Nations first learned about the rapes along the border last month, after hearing scattered reports from local aid organizations. But the initial reports suggested that around 30 Congolese women had been raped, not 600. Many of the women said they had been kept in derelict buildings and gang-raped by security forces. When they were released, they said they had been forced to walk back into Congo without any clothes.
It’s very difficult to believe that more can’t be done to stop this. We spend trillions on war…
How much is a woman’s life worth?