Exclusive conference coverage from openDemocracy 50.50: Jennifer Allsopp and Julienne Lusenge write ‘We want peace. We’re tired of war’ for our Women Beyond War conference.
Julienne Lusenge spoke to Jennifer Allsopp at the Nobel Women’s Initiative conference in Belfast about her work as a women’s human rights defender in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
JA: Julienne, could you begin by introducing yourself and telling us a bit about your work and the context in which you operate?
JL: My name is Julienne Lusenge and I’m an activist for women’s rights in the DRC. We are an organisation that fights against the impunity of crimes, against war crimes in our region, and for the rights of victims of sexual violence and war.
For the last 16 years we’ve been living in a state of war in the east of our country. It’s a war of aggression with neighbouring countries. There are national armed groups and there are foreign groups who pillage our region. We want the armed groups to return to Uganda and Rwanda and we want our government to deal with the national groups. But many armed groups are being manipulated and impunity reigns. The war is sustained by companies of war who mercilessly exploit the resources of our country.
Read the complete article on openDemocracy 50.50.
openDemocracy 50.50 has been covering the Nobel Women’s Initiative biennial conferences since 2007 in articles written by participants and openDemocracy’s own authors. Visit their website for more coverage of our 2013 International Conference: Women Beyond War.