Goma - Geneva,25 November 2013. To mark the International Day for the Elimination ofViolence against Women, the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and “Synergiedes Femmes pour les Victimes des Violences Sexuelles” (SFVS) call on thegovernment of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) as well as on theInternational Community to take urgent action to stop violence against women inNorth and South Kivu.
Violence against women in the DRC is reaching alarmingproportions. According to a report published on 8 October 2013 by the Ministryof Gender, Family and the Child, at least 40 women are reported raped every dayin the DRC. The report confirms that a total of 29.354 cases of sexual violenceare registered in seven provinces, including North and South Kivu between 2011and 2013. Eighty-one per cent of the sexual violence cases are rape cases;ninety-eight per cent of the victims are women.
OMCT et SFVS welcome the trial against 41 governmentsoldiers (FARDC) accused of grave human rights violations, including massrapes, in Minova, in Northern South Kivu, in November 2012 when the M23 tookcontrol of Goma and the government soldiers were retreating to the town ofMinova. While the government of the DRC has the responsibility to prevent andto protect women from violence throughout the whole territory of the DemocraticRepublic of the Congo, impunity remains the norm in North and South Kivu. Thetrial of Minova takes place after a year of pressure by the internationalcommunity.
OMCT and SFVS call on the government to exercise duediligence to prevent, investigate, and punish all acts of violence againstwomen, mass rapes and war crimes. Furthermore, we call on the government toprovide redress to the victims, regardless of whether they are victimised bygovernment soldiers, armed opposition groups (including the M23) or privateindividuals. OMCT and SFVS also call on the government to protect the securityof the victims, as well as witnesses and women human rights defenders whocontinue to face threats and harassment when assisting the victims in theirstruggle for justice.
Moreover, OMCT and SFVS call on the Internationalcommunity to protect women against violence and to support the government ofthe DRC in the fight against impunity.
Please visit http://www.omct.org/violence-against-women for information on OMCT and SFVS joint project in North and South Kivu, the Democratic Republicof the Congo (DRC). It aims tocontribute to the prevention anderadication of violence against women, including sexual violence, in North andSouth Kivu by strengthening thecapacity of women human rights defenders and supporting their actions toeliminate violence against women.
For further information, please contact :
- Justine Masika Bihamba, President – SFVS at firstname.lastname@example.org / +243 81 31 79957
- Carin Benninger-Budel, Human Rights Adviser – OMCT at email@example.com / +4122 809 49 31.