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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, 27-May-2016
At least 11 people were killed in Dhalea province when the Saudi warplanes targeted al-Mahla area with several raids, a military official said.

The Saudi warplanes also hit Harib-al-Qaramish area and Serwah district of Mareb province with several air raids, the official said, adding the raids caused many casualties.

Moreover, a woman was wounded when the aggression targeted Hareb-Nehm in Sana'a province with two air raids to back an attempt of the hirelings to make progress on the ground.

In Sana'a province, the Riyadh's hirelings targeted the army and popular committees' sites in Nehm district and fired tens of rockets on Mabda'a, Bani Bareq and Malh areas in the district, according to the official.


The hirelings in Taiz province hit al-Qashuba area in al-Waze'yah district, al-Amri and Dhubab city with artillery shells.

The aggression dropped sound bombs on the sky of Harf Sufyan district of Amran province, he noted.

Meanwhile, the Saudi aggression intensified flying on the skies of the capital and its suburbs, Taiz and its coastline, Sa'ada, Hajjah, Mareb and Mahweet, Jawf provinces.
Thursday, 26-May-2016
An agreement was reached to release one thousand prisoners from both of the parties to the conflict in Yemen before the holy month of Ramadan, sources in the national delegation in Kuwait said on Thursday.

The sources explained that each party will submit a list of 500 prisoners to the United Nations next Saturday, which in turn will hand over the list of each party to the other party.
Thursday, 26-May-2016
The national delegation continued on Thursday, during a session with the UN envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, to discuss ideas and proposals relating to the transition roadmap.

In the session, the national delegation insisted on the need to form a consensus executive authority and determine the time-bound tasks and powers of the transitional phase leading to presidential and parliamentary elections.

The delegation underlined the importance of finding adequate guarantees for a political solution leads to stopping the Saudi aggression, lifting the siege, achieving peace and ending the suffering of the Yemeni people
Thursday, 26-May-2016
The Saudi war jets waged on Thursday an air raid on Harib-Nehm area in the western part of Mareb province, a local official said.

The official did not mention any details on casualties caused by the raid, condemning strongly the continuation of the Saudi aggression and its hirelings to breach ceasefire in the country
Wednesday, 25-May-2016
At least six citizens were killed and eight others were wounded in an airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition in Mareb province, a local official said Wednesday.

The official said that the hostile war jets targeted Sanoma area in Harib al-Qaramish district in the province, which led the killing of six citizens and injuring eight others.
Wednesday, 25-May-2016
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has called on all parties to the conflict in Yemen to take steps to end the suffering of civilians.

The MSF demanded the parties to the conflict to ensure the safety of health facilities and their workers and give them the opportunity to do their job effectively and safely.

" The organization (MSF) does its efforts in areas that are most in need of medical and humanitarian assistance and we ask all parties to the conflict to respect our work, " MSF's official Will Turner said in a press release.

Turner confirmed that the organization will remain committed to providing health care to patients and respond to the emergency medical needs and will stand by the side of the conflict victims.
Tuesday, 24-May-2016
Scores of the aggression’s hirelings were killed and others injured, including al-Qaeda leaders, in clashes occurred in al-Maslob district of Jawf province, a military official said Tuesday.

The official confirmed the killing of the two terrorists Manea Hamad Gharza and Mohsen Saleh al-Hadar and a number of mercenaries during a failed attempt to infiltrate towards the army and popular committees locations in al-Waqaz area of al-Maslob district.
Tuesday, 24-May-2016

The Saudi-led coalition warplanes waged on Tuesday three raids on Harib Nehm area western of Mareb province, in a flagrant breach to the ceasefire.

A local official said that the hostile raids came in conjunction with repulsing the aggression mercenaries who tried to advance toward Harib Nehm area.

The aggression’s hirelings crept toward al-Khaneq area and Wadi al-Namla in direction of Sanomah junction and al-Dhabiya’a area in Harib Nehm, where they were repelled by the army and popular committees and many of them were killed and injured, a military official said.
Tuesday, 24-May-2016
The Saudi warplanes waged on Monday night an air raid on civilians' houses in Harib-Nehm area in Mareb province, a local official said Tuesday.

The official added the hostile warplanes targeted Ali al-Shahefi's house and destroyed it completely. Some other neighboring houses were damaged as well.
Tuesday, 24-May-2016
The Saudi fighter jets waged on Tuesday six air raids on different parts of Jawf province, a local official said.

The fighter jets targeted al-Ghail village and al-Saber area in al-Ghail district to back the mercenaries' advance towards the district.

The official added the aggression also launched an air raid on Ham Mount in al-Moton district and three more on al-Masloub district targeting al-Saqiyah and al-Waqaz areas.

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