Campaign against sexual violence in eastern DRC

October 27, 2015 OPINION/NEWS


Darell Maurice

The Democratic Republic of the Congo last week launched a major campaign against sexual violence in two Eastern provinces of the country plagued by chronic instability for the past twenty years.

The first phase of the campaign ‘Break the Silence’ was held in March 2014 in Kinshasa and a second was launched in September with the UN, said Jeanine Mabunda, Special Representative of President Joseph Kabila in the fight against sexual violence and child recruitment.

This phase will “now be deployed in Goma and Bukavu,” capitals of North and South Kivu respectively, “two provinces most affected by sexual violence related to the conflict” Mabunda stated. The campaign is displayed via billboards, posters, leaflets and field action to recall the rights of victims of sexual violence and encourage survivors or witnesses to call numbers listed.

Eastern Congo is plagued by two decades of chronic instability caused by local and foreign armed groups, the perpetrators of serious violence on ethnics, properties or for the sharing of the region’s vast mineral resources.

The rapes are often accompanied by other abuses that can destroy the reproductive system. Ms Mabunda paid “tribute to the medical staff ” in helping the victims, including the famous gynecologist Denis Mukwege, founder of the Panzi hospital in South Kivu.

On Monday, the DRC lifted the ban of the film ‘The Man Who Repairs Women‘ dedicated to his work and that in Kinshasa showed a “clear intention to harm” the Congolese army by deforming the victims of testimony.

Asked about the lifting of the ban, Ms Mabunda welcomed the “extraordinary work” of the gynaecologist, stressing that there was a “misunderstanding” and that his office suggested that “people talk to each other so things can be corrected.”

It justified “initiatives” such as Dr Mukwege “participating” in the denunciation of rape, before concluding: “What’s is better when you start a campaign which says ‘Break the silence as not to cut someone’s silence’.”







Darell Maurice

Darell Maurice is a Journalist based in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s capital city Kinshasa and works for Canal7kintv. He also blogs here.


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