UN Slow to Respond to Gang Rape of 154 Women and Five Boys in Congo

28 Aug 2010

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Aid groups reported last week that Rwandan and Congolese rebels took over villages in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo and gang-raped almost 200 women and five young boys. The rapes occurred between July 30 and August 3, within miles of a United Nations (UN) peacekeeping base.

The humanitarian group that documented the rapes, International Medical Corps, said aid and UN workers knew the rebels had occupied the villages soon after it happened and that they notified the United Nations about the attacks on August 6th. But it's taken the UN nearly three weeks to respond.

A joint UN human rights team has now confirmed the rapes of 154 women.

Amy Good man of Democracy Now speaks with Eve Ensler, award-winning playwright and creator of The Vagina Monologues and V-Day, a global movement to stop violence against women and girls, about the slow response of the UN and limited reaction of the world in general to this horrific crime.

Amongst other things Eve Ensler says, "There is a history of colonialism and racism in the Congo…and people just expect things like this to happen in the Congo. I was in Bosnia in 1992 when women were being raped in the war…But I will tell you, you know, within a year and a half, when it was heard that 20,000 to 40,000 white women were being raped in the middle of eastern Europe, that war got ended, and those women got protected. It's been thirteen years in the Congo. Thirteen years."

For the full transcript of this Democracy Now interview, please click here.

You can find this page online at http://sacsis.org.za/site/article/267.19.

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