Emerald news net work (an article from August 2014)
The western media is reluctant to broadcast the fact that since 1998 what amounts to a continental war has been raging across central Africa. The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Angola, Chad, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Sudan, together with Lord’ Resistance Forces and other militias, have been fighting a near endemic war with Rwandan and Ugandan backed militias with varying levels of support from Burundi. Although the war was officially concluded in July 2003 the extent and scale of the fighting has not diminished.
It is estimated that five and a half million people have died in the conflict and as a result of easily preventable disease and starvation. Militias and state armies are involved in the wholesale formation of child armies; kidnapping boys from villages and towns over the affected regions.
The United Nations has confirmed that the systematic rape of women and girls is being used as a weapon of war in the DR Congo. Each day in the east of the country a thousand people lose their lives and international observers on the ground estimate that there are forty incidences of rape by soldiers daily.
In the west we hear almost nothing of what is happening in this the largest conflict since the end of the Second World War and this silence may be for a number of unsavoury reasons. Every country in which this conflict is raging is a former European colony, for the greater part the fighting is fuelled by European and North American trade in so-called ‘Blood Minerals’ and the fact that the victims are black Africans does not help much.
Over the course of this week in the DR Congo Lt Col Bedi Mobuli Engangela is standing trial on charges of gang rape and issuing orders for women and girls to be raped. One woman who has given evidence against him, and whose identity was concealed, gave evidence that it was Engangela who gave the order that she be subjected to gang rape by four rebel soldiers before her hut was fired while she and her infant son still cowered inside. Attacks on farms and villages are common occurrences throughout the eastern conflict zones of the country where men (often also the subject of rape) are routinely murdered and women and girls raped. Recent statistics in the war-torn area reveal the frightening reality. Twenty-two percent of men and over thirty percent of women have been subjected to rape and sexual violence. Engangela’s trial, according to the UN, is a test case and that the judiciary in the DR Congo has more often than not failed to convict military officers charged with rape and other crimes against humanity. Rape was recognised in 2001 as a crime against humanity when it is employed as a means of pursuing war. It is unlikely that the United States or the European Union will commit to any meaningful intervention in the conflict as to do so would cause a disruption in the supply of diamonds and other minerals used, for example, in the manufacture of cellular phones.
Our note, from here: On 15 December 2014, Engangela was found guilty of murder and sentenced to life in prison. Additionally, Engangela received a 20-year sentence for rape, two 15-year terms for sexual slavery and other inhuman actions, such as torture and abduction, and 10 years for imprisonment and other forms of grave deprivation of physical liberty.
Africa's Forever Wars
Womens' Orthodox Blogs
The Worst Place to Be a Woman!...
Why eastern DR Congo is 'rape capital of the world' !
I salute the brave women of the Orthodox community of Ivory Coast // Je salue les braves femmes de la communauté Orthodoxe de Côte d'Ivoire // .وإنني أحيي النساء الشجعان في المجتمع الأرثوذكس في كوت ديفوار