Rape and War in the Congo


A mass rape victim comforts her son in the town of Fizi, Congo. Her identity has been concealed for security reasons and because rape carries strong social stigma. She was among nearly fifty women who were raped by Congolese soldiers on January 1st 2011. (AP Photo/Pete Muller)

Hour 1

A recent report on sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo found that rape is even more prevalent than previously thought.  During a one year period, nearly 400,000 women were raped – that’s an equivalent of almost one rape every minute.  And since the data didn’t include children, men and older women, the levels of sexual violence are most likely even higher.   For fifteen years, the Congo has been ravaged by war, millions of civilians have been killed, and rape has become one of the central weapons.  In fact, a leading UN official has called it “the rape capital of the world.”  This hour, we’ll look at sexual violence in the Congo, the underlying causes and the long term consequences.  Our guests are TONY GAMBINO, a former USAID Director for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and JOCELYN KELLY, the Director of the Women in War Program at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative.

Listen to the mp3

[audio: 060811_100630.mp3]

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