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Wartime Rape Essay

1261 words - 6 pages

Neglecting to involve perpetrators of rape is causing more conflicts because NGOs and the government are not looking at the root of the problem, which is rebels strive on the recruitment of young boys, therefore, if these young boys are given the opportunity to better their selves and live in a stable environment, rebels will lose members and eventually shut down.
Background: Conflicts in Congo
Congo has experienced several wars and conflicts, which has left the country severely damaged in the last decade. The first conflict in Congo started in 1996, when Kagame, the president of Rwanda send troops to Eastern Congo looking for former perpetrators of Rwanda Genocide. One of the main ...view middle of the document...

Congo war involved countries such as Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Sudan, Burundi and Angola. The aim of the Congo war was to overthrow Kabila, thus African states involved in the war were divided between pro-Kabila and anti-Kabila (William, 2013. 89). Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda were in an alliance together and their main goal was to overthrow Kabila and eliminate the Interahamwe members that were taking refuge in Congo. All three countries (Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda) justified their involvement in the Congo war “as part of security reason,” to protect Central Africa from the perpetrators of Rwanda genocide (William, 2013, 90). Zimbabwe and Angola, on the other hand, were pro-Kabila regime, thus they supported in the war and both countries had economic investments in Congo (William, 2013, 91). Unfortunately, Kabila was assassinated in 2002 and that ended the Congo war. Unfortunately, rebel groups are continuously causing havoc in Eastern Congo. Most of the conflicts in the Eastern region of Congo are between rebel groups that are fighting for power and resources; therefore culture of rape has been creating as a method of acquiring scarce resources in the region as well as marking territories.
One similar war tactic of war that is seen in both Rwanda and Congo is the use of rape as a weapon of war. Both Rwandan and Congolese women have experienced the same horrific traumatic events as a result of wartime rape. In the short three months of the Rwanda genocide, approximately 250,000 women were sexually violated (U.N. org). Although rape is starting to gain recognition internationally, Congolese women are still struggling to tell their stories due to fear and shame. Rape strips the dignity, identity and human qualities of a person, thus it is an effective weapon of war that disrupts society (Gillmore, 2011, 35). Since rape is cheaper than bullets, soldiers in Congo are compelled to rape on a higher rate in order to keep their power in society and loot available resources. Gang rape has become the commonly used form of sexual abuse to instill fear and humiliate victims. Emotional trauma from these rapes leaves a deeper scar and can severely impact society for generations to come. Consequences of wartime rape in society:

Men, women and children makeup members of society affected because of wartime rape. Due to rape, dynamics within society shift in order to accommodate new societies being built as a result of war and rape. Although women suffer the most, men also have to live with the same sentiments for not being able to protect their wives, mothers and daughters. Meger and Banwell argued, “rape is used as a form of communication between opponents; therefore men, women and their communities are...

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