Sexual Warfare in DRC | First Lady Leads Battle (Video)


Ayanna Nahmias, Editor-in-ChiefLast Modified: 17:23 p.m. EDT, 18 October 2010

First Lady Marie Olive Kabila - Democratic Republic of Congo

BUKAVU, Democratic Republic of Congo - First Lady Olive Lembe Kabila, the wife of President Joseph Kabila led approximately 17,000 women on Sunday in a march against sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The term 'weaponized rape,' has come to define the practice of raping women as a means of subjugating and decimating the enemy.

Most of the mass rapes which have occurred in the conflict ridden DRC, were perpetrated in the eastern region of the country where fighting is the heaviest.

Victims range in age from girls as young as 2-years to women as old as 90.

Defying the stigma associated with rape, throngs of Congo’s rape survivors filled the streets in Bukavu. CNN reports. “They have had enough, enough, enough, enough,“ said Nita Vielle, a Congelese activist. “Enough of the war, of the rape, of nobody paying attention to what’s happening to them.”

A U.N. report stated that 15,000 women were raped in eastern Congo last year, in regions where rebel groups move in and attack civilian populations they consider to be government sympathizers, employing systemic rape as a tool of warfare.

Methodical mass rape has plagued eastern Congo for years, but the situation has only gotten worse. In one particularly vicious spate, at least 303 rapes occurred between July 30 and August 2 in the Walikale region of North Kivu province alone.


Read more about the problem of rape and war in the Congo via BBC News coverage here.

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