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United States Must Demand an End to Impunity for Sexual Violence in Democratic Republic of Congo, Says Amnesty International
WASHINGTON - October 15 - Amnesty International USA Advocacy Director for Africa Scott Edwards made the following comments today, following release of the United Nations' findings about mass rapes in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo:
"The world community cannot stand by while war is waged against women in Congo. The United States government should take the lead in demanding an end to impunity for the horrific sexual violence that reoccurs with impunity in Congo. Additionally, other countries must assist the Democratic Republic of Congo government in offering aid and support to victims and their families and to ensure that they receive reparations.
The primary responsibility for civilian protection
lies with the government, which must ensure that its soldiers are well-trained
and disciplined and deployed to effectively protect the population. In
addition, the government must urgently investigate troops that have failed
to protect the population or have committed crimes against the population
The United Nations mission in Congo must implement a plan of action along with better training to effectively protect the civilian population. That plan must include better communication with local communities to prevent attacks against civilians. In addition, it is imperative that the DRC and neighboring countries, with the support of the international community, work toward strengthening the rule of law and justice institutions in order to end impunity."
Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 2.8 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.