US Urges Justice for Congolese Women

The number of reported rapes in the east of the country has risen dramatically since January, when the government launched a joint operation with Rwanda against the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda...

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From Al Jazeera:

The US secretary of state has said that young people in the Democratic Republic of Congo must press the government to take action against corruption and sexual violence in the war-torn east of the country.

"You are the ones who have to speak out," Hillary Clinton told university students in Kinshasa, the capital, on Monday.

"Speak out to end the corruption, the violence, the conflict that for too long has eroded the opportunities across this country. Together, you can write a new chapter in Congolese history."

Clinton has focused on women's rights during her seven-nation tour of Africa, which has so far taken her to Kenya, South Africa and Angola.

The number of reported rapes in the east of the country has risen dramatically since January, when the government launched a joint operation with Rwanda against the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR).

Clinton said Laurent Kabila, DR Congo's president, must take action to protect women from violence, while noting that some members of the Congolese military were responsible for sexual assault.

"We are now in the 21st century. It is no longer acceptable for there to be violence against women in the home or in the community," she told the students.

"I hope that here in the DRC there will be a concerted effort to demand justice for women who are violently attacked and to make sure that their attackers are punished."

Read the rest of the article here.