Sexual Warfare in the DRC

Sexual Warfare in the DRC

The Congolese army and rebel groups systematically use brutal gang rape against their enemies, causing crippling injuries and spreading HIV. (Sydney Morning Herald)

This grim multimedia package of video and audio-slideshows produced by Australia’s Sydney Morning Herald depicts how sexual violence is used as a devastating weapon in the war-torn North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Congolese army and rebel groups systematically use brutal gang rape against their enemies, causing crippling injuries and spreading HIV.

Aid groups estimate one in three women in North Kivu have been raped. Over 30 per cent of these have been infected with HIV. All across this devastated region – in every village, every camp and almost every home – a man-made plague is stealing and destroying the lives of women, in a scale never seen before around the world.

See and hear women recount their ordeals… and the men’s unabashed admissions of rape.

A second video takes us inside makeshift refugee camps for displaced persons in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo. They may lack water, toilets and food but they are a relatively safe part of this war-ravaged region. There is no respite from the equatorial sun and rains: both come on strong, fast and thick and break through the shoddy roofs of the huts. Disease spreads fast.

For now there is a temporary, unstable truce between the various armed groups of Congo, but the bloodshed appears far from over. Many refugees would rather risk malaria, malnutrition and cholera than return to their villages, where their houses may be burnt or occupied or where hostile militias may still be in control.

CHANNEL: Sydney Morning Herald

Producers: Kimberley Porteous and Kate Geraghty
Photos and video: Kate Geraghty
Reporting: Jonathan Pearlman
Video editing: Kimberley Porteous

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