Sexual Violence, May 2002
A violent war has plagued Eastern Congo since 1994, when Hutu extremists sought sanctuary in the region following their part in the Rwandan genocide. The new Rwandan government force followed them over the border seeking revenge. Armies from Uganda, Zimbabwe and Angola, became involved; and Congo’s government forces from Kinshasa tried in vain to regain control of the vast area. Sexual Violence against women and children living the region has been used extensively by all sides of the conflict.
“Women and girls are being forced to pay the price of this war. They are now so traumatised they will never have normal lives,” a gynecologist working in the region said. ” For every woman who comes to me for help there are thousands more. For a child who has watched his mother and sisters raped, for the babies born because of rape, to the little girl raped so often she will never walk, our society is being crippled by this sexual violence.”