Congo : US to send military advisors to Congo to give counseling against rape?? (Yeah right)

Putney Swope

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Jun 27, 2009
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More like the mob don counseling the street corner clocker, how not to commit crimes!!!


Published on Friday, August 21, 2009 by CommonDreams.org
With Its Record of Rape, Don’t Send the US Military to the Congo to Give 'Sensitivity' Training to the Congolese Military!
by Ann Wright

On Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's August, 2009 trip to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), she announced $17 million in new funding in the U.S. Government's contribution to international efforts to prevent and respond to sexual and gender-based violence in the DRC.

200,000 Women and Girls Raped in the DRC

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the coordinating agency for work on sexual violence in Congo, estimates that 200,000 women and girls have been the victims of sexual violence since 1998. In 2008, UNFPA recorded that nearly 16,000 women and girls had been raped in the Congo. 65 percent of the victims were children, mostly adolescent girls.

The US Agency for International Development (USAID) will implement a $7 million program with medical care, counseling, economic assistance and legal support to 10,000 women and girls in North and South Kivu provinces, the regions most affected by rape and sexual assault.

Another $10 million U.S. contribution will fund new programs in eastern DRC to include equipping women and front-line workers with mobile devices to report abuse and share information of treatment and legal options.

A separate $2.9 million U.S. program will recruit and train female police officers to investigate rape and interview survivors of violence against women.

Congolese Military on Rape Rampage

According to Human Rights Watch, rape in the Congo is increasing (http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2009/08/10/faq-drc-human-rights-watch-dossier-hillary-clinton-s-visit [1]). Human Rights Watch visited nine conflict zones since January 2009 and in those zones, rape cases had doubled or tripled compared with last year. In over half of the cases, the victims were gang-raped by at least two or more assailants, and the youngest victim was 2 years old. Human Rights Watch reports that the cases of men being raped are increasing.

According to figures collected by Human Rights Watch, 65 percent of the new rape cases in North Kivu were perpetrated by Congolese army soldiers.

But, despite the huge number of rapes by soldiers, military courts in eastern Congo convicted only 27 soldiers of crimes of sexual violence during 2008. In 2009, 17 soldiers have been convicted in North Kivu. In July, 2009, the highest-ranking officer convicted to date, Lieutenant Colonel Ndayambaje Kipanga was found guilty of rape by a military court, but he remains at large. No general has been convicted either for his own actions or for failing to control his troops.

In July, 2009, Human Rights Watch published a 56 page report on rape by soldiers titled: "Soldiers Who Rape, Commanders Who Condone" (http://www.hrw.org/en/reports/2009/07/16/soldiers-who-rape-commanders-who-condone-0 [2]) which called on the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo to urgently investigate and prosecute senior army officials allegedly involved or complicit in rampant sexual crimes against women and girls, as part of its efforts to combat sexual violence.

U.S. Military to Give Rape "Sensitivity" Training to the Congolese Military!

Part of the new U.S. initiative in the DRC includes a baffling addition to U.S. government agencies involved in prevention and response to sexual assault and rape of the women of the Congo--the U.S. military!

According to the State Department's August 12, 2009 fact sheet on the U.S. partnership with the DRC on gender-based violence, the U.S. military's Africa Command (AFRICOM) is sending an assessment team to "determine how to best assist survivors," and provide "sensitivity training on sexual violence and legal seminars that contribute to the professionalization of the Congolese military." (http://www.america.gov/st/texttrans-english/2009/August/20090814111339eaifas0.4135706.html [3] )

AFRICOM is the U.S. military's newest command and is looking for missions to justify its existence--in this case with new funding available--in rape prevention. The Bush administration more than tripled U.S. assistance to Africa, to about $9 billion annually. U.S. military training for African forces has steadily expanded, and U.S. troops have dug wells, built schools and clinics and have provided medical care as humanitarian assistance.

In the past decade, the U.S. military has created and funded programs in fields that are normally done by other U.S. government agencies. Arguing that the militaries of other countries are key organizations to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS, the U.S. military carved out a major role in the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) program, in HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, and care, strategic information, human capacity development, and program and policy development in host militaries and civilian communities of 73 countries around the world.

AFRICOM had to reduce its initial goals after African governments refused to provide a location for its headquarters and civilian aid groups protested plans to expand the military's role in economic development in the region.

Warning: U.S. Military Rape Statistics Show They Should Not be "Sensitizing" Any Other Military

If the women of the Congo should Google, "U.S. military - sexual assault and rape," I suspect they will decline the o


full article;
http://www.commondreams.org/view/2009/08/21-8
 

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