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Murder And Rape Ever-Present Threats in DR Congo

Categories: Articles:Peacemaking | Published: 10/06/2014 | Views: 1460
Congolese soldiers march through the night, but not towards battle. In the dark, they are hunting for women who have fled their homes in Minova to hide in the bushes. The women know that if they are seen, they will be raped and maybe killed. The army has been ordered to retreat to the town, in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Its young soldiers, 2,000 of them, fire gunshots in the air. The commander gives an order. "Go and rape women," he says. The soldiers obey. (Kitty Knowles , Chiara Rimella, Indpendent, 08/06/14)

The Congolese soldiers march through the night, but not towards battle. In the dark, they are hunting for women who have fled their homes in Minova to hide in the bushes. The women know that if they are seen, they will be raped and maybe killed.

The army has been ordered to retreat to the town, in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Its young soldiers, 2,000 of them, fire gunshots in the air.

The commander gives an order. "Go and rape women," he says. The soldiers obey.

"It's true that we raped here. We found women because they can't escape. You see her, you catch her, you take her away and you have your way with her," says one soldier later. "Sometimes you kill her. When you finish raping then you kill her child. When we rape, we feel free

Nzgira was one of the victims on that night in November 2012, when the mass rape took place. Three men attacked her at once, two of them from the front. She says: "The other said he wouldn't go where the others left their dirt. So the third took me from the back. I thought I was going to die."

The women had been raped by militia groups before, but this time their Congolese brothers were their torturers. "I didn't see their faces," says Nzgira. "How do you see someone who is hitting you in the eyes? How will you know someone who is inserting a gun barrel in your mouth?"

Masika, the founder of a rescue centre for rape survivors, said: "They made me sit and started touching me," she remembers. "All the children were around me. Then they started to rape women from the dormitories [of the rescue centre]." Masika was 15 when she was first raped by a schoolteacher. Later, the militia raped her and her two daughters before killing her husband. After being cast out by her parents-in-law, she decided to offer counselling and shelter to other women who had experienced the same trauma. Read More
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