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United States Must Demand an End to Impunity for Sexual Violence in Democratic Republic of Congo, Says Amnesty International

WASHINGTON - 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
themselves.

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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.

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