Described by some as Africa’s first World War There have been a number of complexreasons for the war:Conflicts over basic resources such as water Access and control over rich minerals Genocide in Rwanda in April 1994 In June 1996, Rwandan troops entered the DRC with an armed coalition lead by Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda On August 4, 1997 Angolan, Zimbabwean, and Namibian troops intervened on behalf of the DRC Government.
Since the conflict began in 1994, 8 million people have died1.7 million excess deaths had occurred over a 2 year period of conflict in the eastern region of DRCIt has been the world’s deadliest conflict since World War IISome 45,000 continue to die each month and women and children are the main victims of the war
Although 19% of the population are children, they account for 47% of deathsUNAIDS estimated there were 400,000-500,000 people living with HIV/AIDS at the end of 2007;770,000 children have been orphaned as a result of HIV; 2.7 million of the dead have been children1 in 5 children will die before their fifth birthday 67 % of children at the primary school-age are currently out-of-school;50% of children aged between 6-11 years old are out of school. (UNICEF)In Eastern Congo, almost 30,000 children are associated with armed groups and hundreds are still being recruited every day;An estimated 7,000 children soldiers are still in the government army forces and militias groups( including foreign armed groups).
Does this subject merit our true attention? Will we remain indifferent until the numbers hit 200 rapes every minute? Where precisely is the cut off point for compassion and a sense justice? How many women must be raped before we start to care enough to look at the causes? How high do the numbers have to be?
Raising public awareness on women and children victims of sexual violence in DRC Pursuing policy makers to develop gender sensitive policiesPromoting grass-root women’s movements and initiatives through networkingFacilitating cooperation among women’s organizations inside and outside Congo
Canada has been maintaining its longstanding support of DRC efforts to establish sustainable peace, particularly in the country’s eastern regionAs a co-chair country, Canada is friend and member of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Regionhas an important bilateral bilateral development assistance program with the DRCand contributes as well to numerous multilateral initiatives in the areas of peace, good governance, poverty reduction and humanitarian assistance
To respond to the urgent humanitarian crises and reinforce Canada commitment to work for peace and security in eastern DRC, in collaboration with the DRC government and local NGOs partners, Canada should provide concrete action steps to help address the challenges of lack of security, weak governance, and lack of infrastructure in eastern DRC.Canada should develop tangible projects in these challenges indicative of the range of needs that must be addressed early in DRC:infrastructure recovery, including water, sanitation, shelter and transportation;food security and agricultural rehabilitation, including land tenure designation and registration;urgent health, education and basic social welfare requirements, including employment and income generation; andmore importantly, demobilization and reintegration, which takes priority in the peace process because security must be enhanced; the rule of law promoted; development stimulated; refugees repatriated.
Congo Yetu Initiative and Women and Children Victim of Sexual Violence in the East of DRCongo
Empowering women and children victims of sexual violence in DRC Congo Yetu Initiative
1.BACKGROUND-WAR Africa’s First Resources FACTS influential War REASONS 1996: Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda Minerals Genocide in Rwanda 1997:Angolan, Zimbabwean, and Namibian
1.BACKGROUND-WAR Since 1994: 8 Million CONSEQUENCES East Region: 1.7 MillionDEATH TOLL 45,000/Each Month Deadliest Conflict Main Victims: Women and Children
1.BACKGROUND-WAR 48/Every Hour 47% of Deaths CHILDREN 1152/Every Day 0.4-0.5 Million:HIV WOMEN 13%<14 Year Old 0.8 Million:Orphans 3%:Die 1/5 Die Before 5 10%-12%: HIV >50%:Out of School 2006:350,000 Reported 30,000: Armed Groups
2.REFLECTIONSDoes this subject merit ourTRUE ATTENTIONS?
2.REFLECTIONSHealth care and education areamong the HIGHEST priorities
2.REFLECTIONSPsychological and Social Reparation: Victimoften suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disord(PTSD), depression, and Suicide
2.REFLECTIONSPeace and Security: Armed conflictcontinues to be a major concern