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Articles
Sunday, 06-January-2008
Almotamar Net - NEW YORK – The violence in Congo is unspeakable. But, if the horror of Congo’s recent wars – which have killed more people than any war since World War II – is to end, the unspeakable must be spoken. Project Syndicate - NEW YORK – The violence in Congo is unspeakable. But, if the horror of Congo’s recent wars – which have killed more people than any war since World War II – is to end, the unspeakable must be spoken.

Across the eastern regions of the Democratic Republic of Congo, government soldiers, members of renegade government military units, and myriad militias are gang raping untold thousands of women. They are making sex slaves of some women, branding some victims like cattle, and maiming and mutilating women and girls, some as young as three years old, by destroying their vaginas and other internal organs.

Sometimes, the gunmen force their victims’ fathers, brothers, and husbands to rape them, or the women to eat the flesh of their murdered relatives. Afterward, many of the women find themselves utterly alone as they suffer the physical and psychological effects of trauma and cope with destitution, unwanted pregnancies and children, HIV/AIDS, and ostracism by their loved ones who shun them as “diseased” or “tainted.”

Who are these killers and rapists, these men who have committed appalling crimes for more than a decade with complete impunity? Many are the so-called “genocidaires” who fled from Rwanda into Congo after participating in the massacre of 800,000 Tutsis in 1994. Others are Rwandan rebels and members of Congo’s army. Still others are men and boys recruited and press-ganged into militia units.

Violence has displaced more than 350,000 people in eastern Congo since the beginning of 2007. Recently, thousands more fled fresh outbreaks of fighting between local militias and supporters of Laurent Nkunda, a renegade general of Congo’s army, who has rejected a call to begin disarming his troops. A United Nations peacekeeping force deployed in eastern Congo was supposed to have protected the region’s civilians; the peacekeeping force’s failure to safeguard the women has gone unremarked, in part, because a veil of silence surrounds what is occurring.

Women in the eastern Congo have no say in the decision-making that drives the conflict consuming so many of their lives. They have no access to political and economic power in a society that considers them of scant value.

Congo’s government has undertaken no significant effort to bring those responsible for these gender atrocities to justice; new laws have paid lip service to sexual violence, but no one has been prosecuted. The international community, too, has failed. The International Criminal Court in The Hague, which is investigating the crimes in eastern Congo, has only this week indicted the first Congolese militia commander for gender-based crimes.

It is Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon’s duty to speak up, to take a leadership role, to bring this situation before the Security Council, call for it to meet in a special session, and urge it to take effective action immediately. Thousand more peacekeepers – let many of them be women – must be deployed in the affected provinces.

The Chief Prosecutor of the ICC, Luis Ocampo Moreno, should be urged to accelerate his investigations and, once the evidence is sufficient, bring charges against those who have committed these crimes or failed to discipline or prosecute the perpetrators. The local authorities should be assisted in efforts to pursue, arrest, and prosecute accused perpetrators before new local tribunals that enjoy significant prosecutorial and police powers. Support should be given to courageous local women’s groups that are providing care to the victims. Medical and other assistance is needed to treat the overwhelming numbers of victims.

If the people with the power to end the violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo maintain their silence and continue to do nothing, the perpetrators will grow only bolder in their destruction of women’s lives. When impunity for unspeakable acts goes unchallenged, those acts become even more unspeakable.

Maryam Elahi is chair of the International Human Rights Committee of the American Bar Association and director of the International Women’s Program at the Open Society Institute in NY.

Copyright: Project Syndicate, 2007.
www.project-syndicate.org

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Friday, 12-December-2014

The United Nations special envoy for Yemen Jamal Benomar said on Thursday that Yemen was still facing daunting political, economic and security challenges.

He made the remarks after briefing the UN Security Council on the developments in Yemen.

He said he briefed the council on "the enormous challenges Yemen is facing on the political, economic and security fields," Benomar told reporters after the meeting.

He also focused in his briefing on the "tardy implementation of National Peace and Partnership Agreement (NPPA)."
Thursday, 11-December-2014
Yemen and the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) signed on Thursday a joint action plan for 2015.

The plan includes the pledges of the government and its development partners to make developmental programs at the central and governorate levels.
Wednesday, 10-December-2014

The Republic of Yemen has strongly denounced the Israeli aggression which led to the killing of the Palestinian Minister and Head of Popular Committee Against the Settlement and Apartheid Ziad Abu Ain.

"While the Republic of Yemen denounces this brutal assault, it shoulders Israel the responsibility of this atrocious act that contradicts humanitarian values," said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a release issued on Wednesday.
Tuesday, 09-December-2014
The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has held in Amman, Jordan, a four-day workshop on the implementation of Yemen's project portfolio.

The workshop, which started on Monday, also intends to review the general conditions and adopted procedures for all IFAD projects and financing agreements.

Representatives of at least 30 relevant bodies take part in the workshop, including Economic Opportunities Fund (EOF), and Ministries of Planning and International Cooperation, Finance, Agriculture and Fisheries.

At the opening session of the workshop, Yemen's project portfolio Director Mohammed Abdul-Qader talked about the importance of applying the IFAD-adopted procedures and regulations of the financing agreement and the general conditions to implement projects, stressing that IFAD's all projects aim to eradicate poverty in rural areas.
Monday, 08-December-2014
Army troops thwarted on Tuesday an al-Qaeda suicide attack by two bomb cars targeted the First Military Region in Sayoun city, Hadramout, a military official said.

Defense Ministry's website quoted the military official as saying "Two bomb cars were destroyed, after terrorists tried to enter the region by them."
Sunday, 07-December-2014
Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council Abdul Latif bin Rashid al-Zayani has warned that Yemen is on the prim of a looming catastrophe because of foreign influence and private interests of some parties in the crisis Yemen has witnessed.

This was mentioned in his speech at the 10th round of the Manama Dialogue which is taking place during 5 – 7 December in the Bahraini capital, Manama.

“I believe that the Gulf initiative to settle the Yemeni crisis has included most, if not all, the related aspects to improve a general and active approach to solve security and strategic issues which primarily requires participation of the most effective bodies,” GCC Secretary General al-Zayani said.

“Despite all the support given to Yemen by the regional and international community, this country is at the edge of an impending disaster due to foreign influence and private interests of some influential parties in the crisis,” he added.
Saturday, 06-December-2014
A US journalist and a South African citizen held by al-Qaeda in Yemen were killed during a rescue attempt by US and Yemeni forces, the Supreme Security Committee (SSC) said on Saturday.

A security crackdown was carried out by Yemeni Counter-terrorism forces in coordination with U.S. forces to free the two hostages who were held at the terrorist Saeed al-Daghari's house in Abadan village in Shabwa province, an official source at the SSC told Saba.

The security crackdown asked at first the terrorist elements to surrender themselves and release the hostages, but they refused to do so and immediately proceeded to shoot the hostages to kill them, the source explained.
Friday, 05-December-2014
Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Abdullatif al-Zayani has strongly condemned the bombing attack at the residence of the Iranian ambassador to Yemen.



In a press statement , al-Zayani said that the Yemeni political forces and all the Yemeni people components must stand against terrorists who want to destroy security and stability of Yemen.



He urged the political forces to support the political solution based on the GCC initiative which averted Yemen from entering into violence and instability.
Thursday, 04-December-2014
The U.S. denounced on Thursday the bomb attack on the Iranian ambassador's residence in Sana'a, calling for a "thorough" investigation.

"The United States condemns the bombing at the Iranian ambassador’s residence in Sana’a earlier on Wednesday and expresses its condolences to the families of the victims,” State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf was quoted as saying in a statement.

"Attacks on diplomatic facilities and against diplomats contravene all international norms and can never be justified or excused," Harf said, urging the Yemeni authorities to open a " thorough" investigation and "bring the perpetrators to justice".

On the other hand, France condemned on Thursday, in a statement issued by its Foreign Ministry, the bomb attack on the Iranian ambassador's residence in Sana'a, expressing its condolences to the families' victims.
Wednesday, 03-December-2014
General People's Congress (GPC) condemns bomb attack at the residence of the Iranian Ambassador, which caused a number of deaths and casualties.

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