40 women raped in DR Congo everyday
Posted Saturday, October 12 2013 at 01:00
The Ministry of Gender, Family and Child Protection in Democratic Republic of Congo says at least 40 women are raped in the conflict-ridden country every day.
A report released by Minister Genevieve Inagosi, stated that more than one woman is raped every hour in the resource-rich country. According to the minister, the DRC government conducted a survey with support of the United Nations Population Fund.
Inagosi said more than 29,000 cases of sexual assault were reported between 2011 and the first six months of 2013.
The war-torn North Kivu province tops the list of the affected areas with 4,689 cases of sexual violence in 2011, a number that jumped to 7,075 in 2012. In the first half of 2013, up to 3,172 cases of sexual violence were recorded.
The high number of sexual violence cases in the region has been attributed to the presence of many armed militia and rebel groups in the area. Since April 2012, rebels of the M23 group have been fighting the government of President Joseph Kabila in the eastern part of the country, an area that has virtually been at war since the overthrow of President Mobutu Sese Seko in May 1997.
Other provinces with many cases of sexual violence include South-Kivu and Orientale Province. The two regions are home to dozens of armed groups.
The report covered the provinces of Bandundu, Bas-Congo, Katanga, Orientale Province, Kinshasa, North Kivu and South Kivu.
The DRC minister says these acts of violence are committed by both armed groups and civilians. Inagosi added that 59 per cent of the cases remain unknown while the majority of the victims are under the age of 18.
Cases of rape were also reported in the areas which are not affected by armed conflicts.
The minister said the government plans to start media campaigns to create awareness among the locals and exposing the dangers that result from sexual violence.