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DRC

# drc - Today’s News

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# drc - Saturday 24 May, 2014

Case Study: Being a gay woman in DRC and facing fears of ‘punitive’ rape

“One day, in 2007, I was surrounded by boys who told me they were going to rape me to give me a taste for men, that whatever I did I was still a woman.”

# drc - Wednesday 23 April, 2014

At least 57 dead, death toll still rising as train flies off rails in Congo swamp

The train crashed in the southeast of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Bodies are being being buried after being taken from the wreckage, as there is no morgue in the area….

# drc - Thursday 28 November, 2013

“We hear of babies as young as five months being abducted and raped repeatedly” DRC

“We hear of babies as young as five months being abducted and raped repeatedly”

An Irish consortium highlighted the issue of gender based violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo at a seminar in Dublin yesterday.

# drc - Saturday 15 June, 2013

Two girls die as wave of child rapes hits province in DRC

Doctor in Democratic Republic of Congo speaks of the horror of flood of children coming to hospital in critical state.

# drc - Monday 4 March, 2013

80 killed in DR Congo clash: UN DRC

80 killed in DR Congo clash: UN

A rebel militia in the Democratic Republic of Congo has seized control of an eastern town after days of fighting that have left more than 80 people dead, the UN has confirmed.

# drc - Friday 22 February, 2013

11 countries to sign DR Congo peace accord: UN

Eleven African countries have been invited to sign a UN-brokered accord aiming to end more than two decades of conflict in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

# drc - Friday 4 January, 2013

DR Congo’s M23 rebels arrive for peace talks DRC

DR Congo’s M23 rebels arrive for peace talks

Rebels are meeting with the Congolese government in Uganda for peace talks – in a bid to end the long-running conflict that has displaced hundreds of thousands of people.

# drc - Friday 30 November, 2012

Britain suspends aid to Rwanda over DR Congo rebel support DRC

Britain suspends aid to Rwanda over DR Congo rebel support

The UK is to withhold million in aid over concerns that Rwanda is supporting of rebels country, which is in the midst of an increasingly violent conflict.

# drc - Thursday 22 November, 2012

Congo: Violence continues, M23 rebels press forward after gains DRC

Congo: Violence continues, M23 rebels press forward after gains

A rebel group seeking to overthrow the Congolese government makes gains, and millions of civilians are displaced by the conflict.

# drc - Wednesday 21 November, 2012

Civilians ‘preyed upon’ in DR Congo violence, say humanitarian workers

Aid workers say the deteriorating situation in the country has left millions of civilians displaced and vulnerable to exploitation and violence.

# drc - Wednesday 20 June, 2012

Up to 27 million people are living in slavery, says US report

US State Dept’s annual report on human trafficking shows progress being made in Burma, while Syria fell in the rankings.

# drc - Tuesday 12 June, 2012

UN mission ‘failing to protect DRC civilians’ DRC

UN mission ‘failing to protect DRC civilians’

The International Crisis Group warns of risk of “serious escalation of violence” in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

# drc - Monday 5 March, 2012

Couple jailed for life over ‘witchcraft’ murder

A woman and her boyfriend have been sentenced for the “sadistic” killing of her 15-year-old brother, who the couple had accused of practising witchcraft.

# drc - Friday 2 December, 2011

18 people killed in Congo election, says rights group

At least 18 people have been killed and 100 seriously injured in election violence in Democratic Republic of Congo, according to Human Rights Watch.

# drc - Monday 28 November, 2011

DR Congo polls open after weekend of violence

The African country could be plunged into violence again if it is unable to agree on the results of the presidential and legislative election – the first government-led elections since the end of the last war.

# drc - Sunday 27 November, 2011

Four dead after pre-election clashes in DR Congo

The election is almost certainly expected to return President Joseph Kibala to power, analysts say.

# drc - Friday 8 July, 2011

The Daily Fix: Friday Daily Fix This post contains videos

The Daily Fix: Friday

In today’s Fix: leaked NOTW audio; the end of an era for NASA’s shuttles; and no more casual Fridays at the Dáil…

# drc - Wednesday 15 June, 2011

The world’s worst places to be a woman – survey

Global survey releases findings which show that Afghanistan is the most dangerous place for women, while the DRC comes a close second.

# drc - Tuesday 22 February, 2011

Congo army colonel sentenced to 20 years for ordering New Year’s Day mass rape

A lieutenant colonel and his subordinates escaped the death penalty but received prison sentences in a landmark case.

# drc - Friday 28 January, 2011

53 men, women, children raped in DRC in three days, says MSF

Humanitarian aid agency says the already-volatile situation in eastern DRC has deteriorated further, as new reports of mass rape emerge.

# drc - Monday 22 November, 2010

Former DR Congo leader on trial for war crimes

Jean-Pierre Bemba faces charges of murder, rape and pillage during the most important trial at the International Criminal Court to date.

# drc - Thursday 21 October, 2010

Crocodile blamed for plane crash

Twenty passengers died when the DRC plane crashed in August. The sole survivor blamed a loose crocdile.

# drc - Friday 15 October, 2010

UN: DRC government troops may have raped and murdered civilians

The same communities that were horrifically abused by rebels months ago may have been targeted again by the troops meant to protect them.

# drc - Friday 27 August, 2010

ATROCITIES CARRIED OUT in Democratic of Congo (DRC) over a 10 year period have been classed as war crimes by the United Nations, according to a leaked draft report.

The report says that the Rwandan army could be responsible for carrying out genocide against members of the Hutu tribe in DRC, during a conflict between the two countries that spanned from 1993 to 2003.

The 600-page document outlines how Hutus were the victims of rape, murder and looting at the hands of Rwandan forces. It details how large numbers of Hutu families were rounded up and violently killed with hoes, hammers and axes, or burned alive.

It concludes that most of the victims were women, children, the elderly and the infirm.

Rwanda has blasted the findings, dismissing them as “rubbish” and an “amateurish NGO job”, according to various reports. The Rwandan government is likely to find the report highly embarrassing as it is attempting to detach itself from its own bloody past and present Rwanda as a modern country.

At one point, the draft report details Rwanda’s invasion of DRC (then Zaire) in 1996, when Rwandan Tutsis pursued fleeing DCR Hutu soldiers.

The report states:

The extent of the crimes and the large number of victims, probably in the several tens of thousands, are demonstrated by the numerous incidents detailed in the report. The extensive use of non-firearms, particularly hammers, and the systematic massacres of survivors after camps were taken prove that the number of deaths cannot be put down to the margins of war. Among the victims were mostly children, women, old and ill people.

Rwanda invaded DRC again, in 1998, when it suspected the country’s new regime supported Hutu rebels. The conflict involved eight countries and 21 militia groups. DRC’s rich mineral deposits were plundered of diamonds, gold, copper, cobalt and zinc.

Angolan rebels are also implicated for raping and looting during the invasion.

A spokesman for the UN high commissioner for human rights, Rupert Colville, has said that the leaked document was only a draft and that the final report (due to be published next month) would be likely to contain revisions.

However, Rwanda reportedly urging the UN to retract some of the more serious allegations contained within the report. If the changes in the final report prove to be significant, the UN could be accused of submitting to the pressure.

See this BBC report for background details of  the conflict in DRC.

# drc - Thursday 26 August, 2010

THE UN SAYS ITS TROOPS could not have prevented the alleged mass rape of around 200 women and boys in the Democratic Republic of Congo because they didn’t know it was happening.

The women and children were assaulted during a four-day siege on Luvungi town by rebels. Peacekeepers passed through the area twice, but were told that roadblocks were being set up, and did not interfere.

Fighters from a Rwandan rebel group, the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (DFLR) and local Mai-Mai militia groups occupied Luvungi, just outside the country’s capital Kigali, on July 3o.

A UN base is located just miles from the town.

The rebel forces withdrew on 4 August, and reports of the rapes began to surface via aid groups.

First reports

The first reports were issued by International Medical Corps, which said it deployed an emergency response team to the area as soon as the security situation permitted it. The health risks facing the victims are clear from their statement:

Although post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) kits for preventing HIV were immediately available at the International Medical Corps clinic, only two survivors had arrived at the health center within 72 hours of sexual assault, the timeframe during which PEP for HIV may be administered.

For survivors who sought services within 120 hours of sexual assault, emergency contraception (EC) was provided. Survivors were also provided presumptive treatment for sexually transmitted infections, as well as wound care.

[caption id="attachment_15484" align="alignnone" width="512" caption="In this undated image supplied by Doctors Without Borders or Medicins Sans Frontieres, a rape victim is photographed at a clinic in Western Kasai, Congo."][/caption]

Rape as a weapon

Sexual violence and rape are known to be used as weapons in the militia conflict because of the devastating effects of sexual assault on families and communities. The east of the country continues to suffer militia violence despite the end of the country’s five-year war in 2003, the BBC reports.

One Congolese mother spoke in May of the terrible choice offered to her and other women by rebels:

The rebel leader asked me two things: “Do you want us to be your husbands? Or do you want us to rape you?” I chose to be raped.

I told old myself, if I tell them that I want to be their wife, they will kill my husband. I didn’t want my children growing up saying the one that made our father die is our mother.

After they raped me, my husband hated me. He said I was dirty. I often ask myself: “Surely, I gave up my dignity for him, how come he can abandon me this way?”

UN secretary general Ban Ki-Moon said he was appalled and outraged by the attacks:

Women and children should not have to live in fear of rape. Communities should not suffer the indignity of knowing that human rights abusers and war criminals can continue to behave with impunity.

Yesterday, a statement from Ban said he had instructed the UN special representative for sexual violence in conflict, former EU Commissioner Margot Wallstrom, to take charge of the UN’s response to the mass rapes in Luvungi.

# drc - Thursday 29 July, 2010

138 PEOPLE HAVE died after an overloaded boat capsized in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Reuters reports. The accident occurred during bad weather some 300km from Kinshasa. River and air transport are often the only options for Congolese travellers due to the poor condition of the country’s rail and road network.