Press Release: Mass rapes in DRC, June 2011

Church leaders speak out against mass rapes in the Democratic Republic of Congo

In what would be the largest mass rape in the DRC since last year, at least 170 women were raped during attacks on the villages of Nakiele and Abala in South Kivu on the night of 11-12 June 2011. The rapes have been blamed on a group of about 200 rebels who had been integrated into the Congolese army before deserting this month, according to UN-backed Radio Okapi. A UN emergency response team is in the area to help victims and verify figures.

The Most Rev. Henri Isingoma, Archbishop of Anglican Church in the DRC

« Toute triste nouvelle sur le viol d’une femme est un vrai choc pour toute personne juste. La poursuite du phénomène des viols collectifs par les éléments des Forces Armées de la RDC est non seulement une humiliation pour la femme congolaise mais un déshonneur pour l’Armée et la République, un témoignage frappant de l’incapacité d’établir la justice sociale et une menace réelle pour la paix et la fierté du peuple congolais en face du monde»

Every sad news story about the rape of a woman comes as a terrible shock to all just  people. The continuing phenomenon of gang rape by elements of the Armed Forces of the DRC is not only a humiliation for Congolese women, but also a disgrace to the Army and the Republic, a striking testimony to the inability to establish social justice and a real threat to peace and the pride of Congolese people across the world.

Sadiki Byombuka, Tearfund Country Representative in the DRC

«Les violences faites à la femme, et particulièrement les viols qui ont pris une ampleur très inquiétante en RDC, sont l’expression d’une humanité en dégradation et d’une emprise du mal sur la société que toute conscience bienveillante ne peut supporter. Il est temps d’unir les efforts pour dénoncer plus fort ce mal et oeuvrer pour le déraciner afin de reconstruire l’espoir et les relations sociales actuellement brisées»

‘Violence against women, especially rape, which is happening at an alarming rate in the DRC, is degrading and a influence that no society can bear. It is time to join forces to denounce this evil and work harder to rebuild hope and our society.’

Further press releases and statements:

UNHCR 170 women raped during attack on Congo villages http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/06/24/us-congo-democratic-rape-idUSTRE75N2JD20110624

Amnesty International http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/new-mass-rapes-drc-are-result-horrific-failure-justice-2011-06-23

FCO http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/news/latest-news/?view=News&id=621704282

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