U.N. Seeks Congo Rapists; Congolese Urges War's End
WeNews: The U.N.'s special representative on sexual violence in conflict is currently in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to identify perpetrators who raped hundreds of women two months ago. At the same time, a women's activist from the DRC visited the U.S. to encourage a strategy of fighting the rebel activity which causes the mass war rapes.
"Margot Wallstrom, the U.N.'s special representative on sexual violence in conflict, flew to the Democratic Republic of Congo on Tuesday for a weeklong visit to a region where women suffered mass rape attacks two months ago. The same day, Justine Masika Bihamba, a leading Congolese anti-rape activist, toured New York and U.N. offices with a plan for preventing rapes in her war-torn country.
The two criss-crossed in more ways than who was going to and coming from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
On the eve of Wallstrom's visit to meet with several hundred women who were raped between the July 30 and Aug. 3 attacks, she told a press gathering "we still have a window of opportunity to apprehend perpetrators." She spoke on Monday following a U.N. Human Rights Council hearing in Geneva.
But Bihamba, the visiting Congolese activist, doesn't think focusing on apprehending perpetrators will go far enough to prevent the problem.
'Wallstrom seems very committed, but the problem is that she deals more with the consequences of rape than with the causes,' said Bihamba, founder of the Synergy of Women for the Victims of Sexual Violence, a coalition of 34 women's organizations in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo."