Rebel groups again raped women who were escaping the recent violence that erupted in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) province of Kivu. Many women have relocated with their children to one of several camps for displaced people where they remain at risk. Others have fled to neighbouring countries. Government security forces have yet to respond to the violence.
President Joseph Kabila of the Democratic Republic of Congo has delayed elections since 2016. The delay is worsening the military and militia violence the country has faced for over 23 years. Around 996000 people were displaced in the DRC in 2016. This is was the highest number of internally displaced people in the world. Almost 3400 people have been killed in the province of Kasai since October 2016.
War tactics have historically involved the deliberate spread of sexually transmitted infections, rape, and sexual violence. The fighting has also forced thousands of women and children into sex work.
North Kivu: Civilians Bear the Brunt of Fresh Fighting, Al Jazeera, 21 June, 2017.
Security Forces and Local Militias Accused of Killing 3400, Financial Times, 20 June, 2017.
From Mobodtu to Kabila, the DRC is Paying a Heavy Price for Autocrats at its Helm, The Conversation, 22 June, 2017.