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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, 21-November-2014

The US Department of Defense has announced the transfer of four Yemeni detainees, and a Tunisian national, from Guantanamo Bay to Georgia and Slovakia.

Two separate statements by the US Department of Defense on Thursday said that Salah Mohammed Salih Al-Dhabi, Abdel Ghaib Ahmad Hakim, and Abdul Khaled Al-Baydani were transferred from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay to the Government of Georgia, and Hashim Bin Ali Bin Amor Sliti and Husayn Salim Muhammad Al-Mutari Yafai were transferred from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay to the Government of Slovakia.
Wednesday, 19-November-2014
The HEYA Yemen team in Participation for Community Foundation (PCF), along with their five local partners; (Awaam Foundation for Development, My Vision NGO, Shaher Foundation for Consultancy and Marketing, The Third Eye Foundation, Tanwaa Foundation) and the regional umbrella organization , Academy for International Development – Middle East and North Africa (AID-MENA), launched their first press conference at the Saba Hotel in Sanaa, Yemen.
Despite the deteriorating security situation in Yemen, the event was attended by community public figures, civil society organizations (CSOs) and more than 20 media bodies that included radio and television news channels, newspaper journalists and various online platforms to highlight the role of Yemini women during the democratic transition.
Guest speaker of the press conference, Mr. Amin Goman, the Capital Secretary Assistant reiterated HEYA’S intentions, claiming that “in order to achieve the outputs of the national dialogue, we have to work closely with all women alliances to increase the role of women in monitoring and formulating public policies and to take part of the decision making process in Yemen”
Tuesday, 18-November-2014
Islah Party's Secretary General Assistant Sadeq Mansour al-Haidari was assassinated on Tuesday by an explosive device planted in his car.

A number of suspected people have been arrested and are being interrogated, said Taiz Police Director Mutahar al-Shuaibi.

"A committee has been formed to probe the criminal incident targeted the Assistant Secretary General of Yemen Congregation for Reform {Islah} Mansour al-Haidari," said al-Shuaibi.

Taiz Local Council denounced the "crime" that took life of the leading member of Islah party Sadeq al-Haidari.
Monday, 10-November-2014

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) on Monday valued highly the Japanese donation of US$5.3 million to support on-site school feeding up to the end of the current school year.

The donation was confirmed at a signing ceremony in Rome on 7 November.

"This is a new activity for WFP Yemen, which we have been able to launch entirely as a result of Japan's support," said WFP Yemen Deputy Country Director and Officer-in-Charge Rukia Yacoub. "With this latest donation, we can continue to provide snacks to children attending school right through the year."

"I believe this food aid will contribute directly to the alleviation of the impacts of food shortages as well as the improvement of people's nutritional status in this country," said Japanese ambassador to Yemen Katsuyoshi Hayashi.

Under this operation, WFP will provide a daily snack, consisting of a nutritious date bar, to some 295,000 primary and secondary schoolchildren regularly attending school, to encourage attendance and help them to concentrate during lessons.
Saturday, 08-November-2014
The Standing Committee of the General People's Congress (GPC) held its special session chaired by Ali Abdullah Saleh, President of the GPC.
During the meeting they discussed the current developments on the national scene in Yemen and regulatory conditions of the GPC.
The Commission adopted its regulatory decisions of new appointments at senior organizational configurations of the Presidency GPC.
After discussions and proposals the members of the Committee approved the following names:
Friday, 07-November-2014

A Republican decree No. (140) for the year 2014 was issued on Friday naming the new government members as follows:

President of the Republic,
After perusal of the constitution of the Republic of Yemen,
Law No. (3) for the year 2004 on the Cabinet,
Decree of the President of the Republic No. (62) for the year 2014 to authorize Mr. Khaled Mahfoudh Bahah to form the government,
The Gulf Cooperation Council initiative and its implementation mechanism signed on 23/11/2011,
Peace and National Partnership Agreement signed on 21/9/2014, and
A proposal by Prime Minister, and for the supreme interest of the country.
It has been decided,
Article No. (1): The government is to be formed as to follow
Tuesday, 04-November-2014
Chinese Embassy in Sana'a condemned Tuesday the assassination of the academic professor Dr. Mohammed al-Mutwakel by gunmen in Sana'a on Sunday.

In a statement, the embassy called the authorized sides to reveal all the crime's circumstances and bring the perpetrators to justice, expressing deep condolences to all the victim's family.
Monday, 03-November-2014
Sessions of the Brussels Conference on Reconciliatory Justice in Yemen were concluded on Monday in the capital Brussels of Belgium.


The conference was participated by representatives of the Yemeni political parties and components, international organizations, and international experts specialized in solving disputes.


At the end of the conference, a statement was declared affirming the importance of working to immediately stop violent armed acts and to denounce the use of force to achieve political goals and interests.


The statement called for the condemnation of all forms of violence and continuation of dialogue to discover in depth details and determinants of the comprehensive national reconciliation in Yemen.
Sunday, 02-November-2014

General People's Congress (GPC) have strongly condemned the assassination of the academic professor Dr. Mohammed al-Mutwakel by gunmen in Sana'a on Sunday.
Saturday, 01-November-2014
President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi reviewed on Saturday with UK ambassador to Yemen Jane Marriott the latest developments in the local arena.

During the meeting, Hadi highly praised the support of the UK for Yemen's security, stability and unity, stressing the importance of helping Yemen economically by the UK and Saudi Arabia to address the current challenges.

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