July and August 2010

  • 242 rapes reported in and around Luvungi, a village not far from a UN peacekeepers’ camp
  • 260 more rapes had come to light in the Uvira area and other regions of North and South Kivu
  • 74 attacks in a village called Miki, in South Kivu. The victims included 21 children (all girls aged between seven and 15) and six men
  • All the women in another village, Kiluma, may also have been systematically raped

source: BBC News, 8 Sept 2010

NB: Luvingi, Miki and Kiluma are not on google maps

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Filed under 07- 08 July and August.2010, DRC violence in 2010

Where is the world?

“They are killing our mammas. Now they are killing our children. What have we done to deserve this? Where is the world?”

–Pastor in Bukavu

source: The Guardian, 12.6.2010

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Letter from Bukavu, April 14, 2010

Click the image to see the original letter, written in French. The English translation is below:

Today by the grace of God our Saviour, I take this small occasion to tell you my history and my current situation.

My purpose in telling you in this small note is to inform you that while I was in the fields, the interahamwe came to rape me. After this act of violence, they took me to the forest. I stayed there for 3 months. They mistreated me, and after suffering a great deal I escaped and went by foot to the General Hospital of Panzi. I was born in Minova, Goma in 1995. I received my medications at the Panzi Hospital for 6 months, then I gave birth to a male child who responds to the name Christophe. Right now he is one year and 3 months old.

Up until the present time, I have not seen my parents. For the moment I am using the internet in the Dorcas I house and I study at the Imani Panzi institute. I am in the first year of secondary school and in the exam of the first semester, I received a satisfactory grade of 60%. In the days when I remember the act that the Interhamwe inflicted on me, truly it breaks my heart.

Thank you and greetings to you and your family.

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March 2010

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Filed under 03 March.2010, DRC violence in 2010

Shooting to kill

“As I understand it, they do not wound, they kill, that’s why we don’t received many injured people.”

–Mattia Novella, MSF field coordinator, on LRA attacks in remote eastern Congo

source: the Guardian, 2 May 2010

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US Conflict Minerals Act passes through Foreign Affairs Committee

Following closely on the heels of the Tin Soldiers post a few days ago comes the news that the Conflict Minerals Act (H.R. 4128) has passed the US House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs yesterday morning, as posted by Committee Chairman Howard Berman on his facebook page. It must now pass the Ways and Means and Armed Services committees.

The bill establishes a mechanism to track minerals mined in the DRC that end up in products like cell phones and laptops, and will help us cut off financing to some of planet’s most brutal armed groups.

In many respects, this legislation builds on the work already begun by some American companies. H.R. 4128 will make those efforts more effective by creating a level playing field for all companies that do business in the United States.

–Opening remarks by Chairman Howard Berman, Chair of Foreign Affairs Committee, 28 Apr 2010

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Filed under Mining, On the legal side

April 2010

UN data shows that over the past three months, 1 244 accounts of sexual violence have been reported throughout the  DRC–or an average of 14 assaults per day (UNHCR Briefing Notes 23.4.2010).  Most of the attacks have occurred in North and South Kivu provinces.

UNHCR spokesperson Melissa Fleming believes these numbers are a gross underestimate, given the shame associated with rape.

A similar number of sexual assaults were recorded in the same period last year.

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Filed under 04 April.2010, DRC violence in 2010