Sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo

19-11-2014

For more than two decades, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and in particular its eastern regions, has faced a chronic and complex humanitarian crisis. Fuelled by ethnic resentment, impunity due to state fragility, and the profits from robbery and illegal exploitation of natural resources, armed groups proliferate, committing human-rights abuses of extreme severity. The award of the Sakharov Prize to Dr Denis Mukwege, a Congolese gynaecologist and women's rights activist, has again drawn international attention to the desperate plight of women who, according to Dr Mukwege, have become a 'battlefield' in this chronic and thus sometimes forgotten crisis.

For more than two decades, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and in particular its eastern regions, has faced a chronic and complex humanitarian crisis. Fuelled by ethnic resentment, impunity due to state fragility, and the profits from robbery and illegal exploitation of natural resources, armed groups proliferate, committing human-rights abuses of extreme severity. The award of the Sakharov Prize to Dr Denis Mukwege, a Congolese gynaecologist and women's rights activist, has again drawn international attention to the desperate plight of women who, according to Dr Mukwege, have become a 'battlefield' in this chronic and thus sometimes forgotten crisis.