Two hundred men. Two villages. One hundred and seventy women beaten and raped. Congo- ‘the rape capital of the world’.
During June 10-12 the biggest mass rape took place in the Congolese villages of Nakiele and Abala. Women as young as 17 and as old as 90 were beaten and raped by two hundred former rebels who are now apart of the national army.
It is thought that Colonel Niragire Kifaru, another former rebel turned government soldier, was behind the mass attack.The wanted man is on the run fearing for his life, but claims he is innocent of these attacks.
Although this is the biggest mass rape it’s not an unusual occurrence for the turbulent East African country. In February, nine soldiers from the same army unit were convicted of raping sixty women in the village of Fizi on New Years Day. A study between 2006 and 2007 showed that 400,000 women and girls were raped within a 12 month period. It is no wonder why Congo has been dubbed the ‘rape capital of the world’.
As a Congolese female this news disgusts me, it brings tears to my eyes. I hear of news like this almost every single day and it doesn’t look set to stop any time soon. To think that these women and girls are subjected to such brutality, being treated as less then humans on a regular basis.
All I can ask myself is why? Why did a country that used to be so beautiful, turn into something so ugly and savage? Why did the place where my mother grew up and made beautiful memories turn into a place where sexual violence has become so prevalent? Why?
The national army that is supposedly meant to protect the country is the one destroying the heart and soul of the country. It’s female race. I am proud to be Congolese, better yet I am proud to be a Congolese woman. But my heart breaks when hearing this news. And the sad thing is it doesn’t look set to stop anytime soon.