“Far Beyond Rape”: Women in the Congo

August 1, 2007 at 2:14 pm (frightening things, injustice, sexism) (, )

These are the kinds of things ignored by the Global Peace Index I mentioned just a little while ago. WARNING: The following statements are extremely disturbing…brace yourself.

Sexual atrocities in Congo’s volatile province of South Kivu extend “far beyond rape” and include sexual slavery, forced incest and cannibalism, a U.N. human rights expert said Monday.

Yakin Erturk called the situation in South Kivu the worst she has ever seen in four years as the global body’s special investigator for violence against women. Sexual violence throughout Congo is “rampant,” she said, blaming rebel groups, the armed forces and national police.

“The atrocities perpetrated by these armed groups are of an unimaginable brutality that goes far beyond rape,” she said in a statement. “Women are brutally gang raped, often in front of their families and communities. In numerous cases, male relatives are forced at gun point to rape their own daughters, mothers or sisters.”

The statement continued: “Frequently women are shot or stabbed in their genital organs, after they are raped. Women, who survived months of enslavement, told me that their tormentors had forced them to eat excrement or the human flesh of murdered relatives.”

And there’s nowhere to turn for help.

While rebels commit most of the worst abuses, Erturk said government forces and national police are responsible for nearly 20 percent of all cases of sexual violence reported.

Army units have deliberately targeted communities suspected of supporting militia groups “and pillage, gang rape and, in some instances, murder civilians,” she said.

Just reading this is completely devastating. From here, we go…where?

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