On a Visit to the Congo, Clinton Denounces Sexual Violence in War


On a visit to Goma, Congo, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called for an end to the rampant sexual violence that has erupted in the country as a result of the long-standing war in the region, the AP reports:

"We believe there should be no impunity for the sexual and gender-based
violence committed by so many — that there must be arrests and
prosecutions and punishment," she said during a press conference with
Congolose Foreign Minister Alexis Thambwe Mwamba in the eastern city of
Goma.

How can the U.S. better pressure the Congolese government to crack down on sexual violence?

She said the U.S. will send a team of legal and financial and other
technical experts to come up with specific recommendations for
overcoming Congo’s problems with corruption. She said Kabila had
accepted that offer…

Human Rights Watch said the Congolese authorities have failed to
prevent the attacks and called on the U.N. Security Council to take
tough steps, including travel bans, against individuals or governments
that commit or condone sexual violence in Congo and elsewhere.

Clinton
said the United States would support U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
in his call last week for global action to stop government forces and
armed groups from using sexual violence as a tool of warfare.

 

Reporting on the impact of sexual violence on boys and men in the Congo has recently emerged.  The New York Times recently reported on a sharp increase in the number of male rape victims, noting that they are "a consequence of joint Congo-Rwanda military operations against rebels
that have uncapped an appalling level of violence against civilians." The American Bar Association’s legal clinic for sexual violence in Goma reports that ten percent of recent victims it has assisted have been men.

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