Rape as a weapon of war continues in Congo

At least 179 women were gang-raped in a weekend orgy of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo last month, the United Nations revealed yesterday. Most women were raped by two to six men at a time, while their children and families watched, an NGO source told the New York Times.  This horrific ...

ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images

At least 179 women were gang-raped in a weekend orgy of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo last month, the United Nations revealed yesterday. Most women were raped by two to six men at a time, while their children and families watched, an NGO source told the New York Times

This horrific news comes just roughly a year after Secretary Clinton defied security advice and personally visited Goma, the epicenter of the Congolese region where rape has been used as a weapon of war. As her eyes brimmed with tears, Clinton listened to a woman explain how she was raped while pregnant and lost her baby. Clinton called the sexual violence "evil in its basest form" and announced $17 million in U.S. aid to respond to it.

Clinton has a jumble of issues to address, from Middle East peace to wishing Ukraine a happy Independence Day, but it would be encouraging to see her at least make a statement on this sickening tradegy. Maybe Melanne Verveer, ambassador at large for global women's issues, could do something?

At least 179 women were gang-raped in a weekend orgy of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo last month, the United Nations revealed yesterday. Most women were raped by two to six men at a time, while their children and families watched, an NGO source told the New York Times

This horrific news comes just roughly a year after Secretary Clinton defied security advice and personally visited Goma, the epicenter of the Congolese region where rape has been used as a weapon of war. As her eyes brimmed with tears, Clinton listened to a woman explain how she was raped while pregnant and lost her baby. Clinton called the sexual violence "evil in its basest form" and announced $17 million in U.S. aid to respond to it.

Clinton has a jumble of issues to address, from Middle East peace to wishing Ukraine a happy Independence Day, but it would be encouraging to see her at least make a statement on this sickening tradegy. Maybe Melanne Verveer, ambassador at large for global women’s issues, could do something?

Over at Inner City Press, Matthew Russell Lee has taken the United Nations to task. It spends $1 billion annually on a peacekeeping mission in Congo that is tasked with protecting civilians. Nevertheless, these rapes occurred just 30 kilometers (about 19 miles) from a peacekeeping base. Then today, the day after the announcement about the rapes, the Security Council met, but no one called for the issue to be taken up! 

Preeti Aroon was copy chief at Foreign Policy from 2009 to 2016 and was an FP assistant editor from 2007 to 2009. Twitter: @pjaroonFP

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