Congo-Kinshasa: Mobile Courts Tackle Sexual Violence in DRC
By Daveon Coleman
Madam Jeanine Mabunda,Advisor on Sexual Violence and Child Recruitment to DRC President Joseph Kabila, addressing reporters outside of Bunia City Hall
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is one of the most dangerous
places in the world to be a woman. According to a 2011 American
Journal of Public Health report, more than 400,000 women surveyed in
2007 reported having been raped in the previous 12 months - equating
to 1,150 rapes per day.
is aside from the horror of this statistic the companion horror of
HIV not to mention lesser sexually transmitted diseases and of course
pregnancies that are not only unplanned but unwanted.
high incidence of sexual violence against women and children in the
region has been attributed to a systematic tactic of war used by
members of the Congolese army, rebel groups, militias and others to
destroy community and family bonds.
argument...but what about other African nations that have inflicted
their armed forces upon the Eastern DR Congo. Let's remember Uganda,
Rwanda, Burundi, Zimbabwe the list goes on.
DRC is one of Africa's largest countries by population and land area
with an estimated 71 million residents. With parts of the country,
especially in the east, mired in conflict for decades, its criminal
justice system is overburdened and often paralysed by administrative
dysfunction and endemic corruption.
to say mired in conflict for decades. The hard question is why?The
answer is of course unpalatable. Neo-colonalism the ongoing theft of
the DR Congo's mineral wealth. Don't assume it is just the West is
involved. Africa is all about exploitation and Africans are just as
guilty today as the western multi-nationals.
those living in regions such as Nord-Kivu, Sud-Kivu and Orientale,
where reaching a formal courthouse could take more than a week's
journey, finding justice for victims of violent sexual crimes has
been next to impossible -- until recently.
2008, judges, magistrates and prosecutors in the DRC have been
traveling to remote areas as part of new initiative: to take
specialized military and civilian courts, many of them mobile courts,
to the people. The courts, funded and organised by a range of local
and international agencies, focus on prosecuting cases of rape and
gender-based sexual violence.
justice for victims of violent sexual crimes has been next to
impossible -- until recently.” and the next paragraph begins “
Since 2008..” Just fuck off. Has “ recently “ been
redefined ? This isn't journalism this is bullshit. This is part of
the problem. The truth is again unpalatable... nobody has done a
bloody thing..they have pretended too. This story is part of that
military courts have had significant successes, most notably the
conviction of Lieutenant Colonel Matuara Kabibi and five soldiers
under his command for crimes against humanity. In retaliation for the
killing of one of his men, Kabibi ordered the rape and pillage of the
town of Fizi in a horrific night of violence on New Year's Day 2011.
Prosecutors presented evidence, along with the testimony of 49 women
who recounted to the court the sexual violence they were subjected
to 1,150 rapes per day.” and you have convicted six military
personnel and this is a success ? It is an appalling failure.
tribunal resulted in the conviction and sentencing of Kabibi and his
men to prison sentences ranging from 10 to 20 years. As they were led
away, the president of the Military Court of South Kivu Colonel
Freddie Mukendi declared, "Justice is not impossible to achieve
in the DRC."
Freddie Mukendi is clearly a man without much cognitive function.
June 10 this year another major victory for victims of gender-based
sexual violence was claimed. The Grand Tribunal of Bunia, in Eastern
DRC, handed down 46 convictions in 65 cases it tried. This court was
based in the capital of the Ituri District, and services an area of
25,000 square miles. It has dramatically expedited a sluggish
judicial process that previously allowed ample time for perpetrators
to flee prosecution.
a major victory “ . Think about it, it is a resounding failure.
Grand Tribunal of Bunia was co-funded by the DRC government and the
United Nations Office of the Special Representative of the
Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, with financial
support also from the Japanese government.
are all useless.
court in Bunia seeks to improve on advances made by mobile military
courts and extend the same access to justice in civilian cases.
Mabunda Lioko, presidential adviser on Sexual Violence and Child
Recruitment says, "Not all victims of sexual violence in the DRC
are able to easily access the court system, so we are bringing the
courts to the people. These mobile courts are helping to restore
faith in the justice system, and demonstrate that the DRC will not be
isn't journalism. It is fucking stupidity masquerading as journalism.