A Glimmer of Hope for the Women in Congo

Margot Wallström: “Impunity reigns in the region as most perpetrators of sexual violence acts continue to walk unpunished without any repercussions for their crimes. The absence of justice has long-lasting effects on the whole society and is an impediment to restoring peace and security in the region.

However, the initial steps toward holding perpetrators accountable are encouraging. In less than a year, more than 250 trials of elements of national security forces were held with the assistance of the United Nations. In February 2011, a military court in Baraka handed down a landmark verdict that found Lt. Col. Kibibi Mutware guilty of crimes against humanity including rape. This shows that accountability for sexual violence in Congo is possible.”

In Sudan, Seeing Echoes of Darfur

Nicholas Kristof: “A great humanitarian catastrophe and vicious ethnic cleansing is unfolding here in the remote and impoverished region where Sudan and South Sudan come together.

For some in the Nuba Mountains, living in thatch huts far from electricity or paved roads, the sharpest acquaintance they are making with 21st-century technology is to be bombed by Sudanese aircraft.”

For Somali Women, Pain of Being a Spoil of War

NY Times: “The Shabab militant group, which presents itself as a morally righteous rebel force and the defender of pure Islam, is seizing women and girls as spoils of war, gang-raping and abusing them as part of its reign of terror in southern Somalia, according to victims, aid workers and United Nations officials. Short of cash and losing ground, the militants are also forcing families to hand over girls for arranged marriages that often last no more than a few weeks and are essentially sexual slavery, a cheap way to bolster their ranks’ flagging morale.”