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There are signs of positive action to counter the culture of gender-based violence in Katanga province in the southeast of the Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC.
Perhaps the most significant step taken in recent months has been the creation of a new police unit to protect young women and girls, which was officially inaugurated in the provincial capital Lubumbashi on April 21.
Rwanda's FDU-Inkingi Party leader, peace and social justice activist Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, spoke to Ann Garrison for Womens' International News Gathering Service (WINGS) in July 2010, near the close of Rwanda's 2010 presidential election year, which was really an election stage play complete with election observers from the U.S. and the U.K. Incumbent Rwandan President Paul Kagame was “re-elected” on Aug.
First the rebel soldiers told residents of the villages in the mineral-rich eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) not to worry. They were just there for a rest and would do no harm. But as dusk fell, the fighters encircled five villages simultaneously, and the gang rapes began.
Six or seven men lined up to take their turn. The victims ranged from a month-old baby boy to a 110-year-old great-great-grandmother.
I have been back in Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), for two weeks now meeting with leaders, activists, social workers, therapists, recent survivors, business owners, UN officials. There is good news and bad news. The bad news is that the situation on the ground remains the same if not worse.
Two female radio journalists working for a Goma-based station have significantly improved their skills and gained in confidence as a result of IWPR training in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, according to the director of the station.
The eastern DRC has become synonymous with war and rape. In recent years, various rebel groups have attacked and looted villages, driving civilians into the bush to escape. Attempts by government forces and U.N. troops to defeat them have often made matters worse for civilians, as militias launch retaliatory strikes against villagers. But many aid groups working in the region have blamed all warring parties for attacks on civilians.
The UN backed Radio Okapi, which operates in the Democratic Republic of the Congo said, Saturday, that elements of the Democratic Liberation Forces of Rwanda (FDLR), from Wednesday to Friday, attacked and looted property from the villages of Mirangi and Busundule, in the Bwito area of DRC's North Kivu province.
The Democratic Republic of Congo's first lady has led thousands of women on a march against sexual violence.
Olive Lembe Kabila headed the rally in the town of Bukavu in the east of the country, where Congolese and foreign armed groups have operated for years.
Last week, the UN said government troops were raping and killing women in the same villages where hundreds were raped by rebels in July and August.
The historic presidential and legislative elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are scheduled for November 28, 2011. WILPF section in DRC, lead by Annie Matundu Mbambi, has worked for several months demanding the equal participation of women in all aspects of the election cycle and the assurance for peaceful, fair, and democratic elections.
If you have any difficulty reading this newsletter in HTML, please view it online.In this edition, we feature the WILPF MENA 1325 project's statement regarding the current protests in Egypt and highlight challenges and opportunities for developing and implementing UNSCR 1325 National Action Plans.
Sam Cook & Felicity Hill
Sam CookTHIS ISSUE FEATURES:
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The PeaceWomen Team
1. CELEBRATING THE 1ST ANNIVERSARY OF 1325 PEACEWOMEN E-NEWSThis edition of the 1325 PeaceWomen E-News Features:
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