Despite the United Nations' "zero tolerance" policy against sexual violence, there has been a rash of gender-based crimes in several of the world's conflict zones, including South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Northern Uganda, Somalia, the Central African Republic - and, more recently, in politically-troubled Egypt and Syria.
In some Democratic Republic of Congo schools, teachers and senior authorities are using their status to abuse girls who do not know their rights, according to the African Association for the Defence of Human Rights.
If you were forced to flee your home to survive, what would you take? What could you take? Jean Claude “Van Damme” Ndongizimana, 20, escaped from the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo with just the bag in which he kept his profits from selling milk and the clothes on his back.
Tuyisenge*, a former teacher from the Democratic Republic of Congo province of North Kivu, sat on a tree stump watching his fellow refugees go about their lives along the terraces of the hillside Kigeme Refugee Camp in southern Rwanda.
Yves Norodom, a 21-year-old refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo living in Brazil, is one of 45.2 million displaced people around the world – the largest number in 20 years.
"Many hospitals and health centres" that are not run by NGOs "do not meet health standards," according to Dominique Baabo, provincial medical inspector for North Kivu province in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
“My husband and older son, unable to cope with the war, became mentally ill. Two of my sons became child soldiers and an eight-year-old daughter was abducted – they were never to be seen again,” Mariamu Dong says, referring to the 21-year civil war between north and south Sudan, which are now separate countries.
Development groups and corruption watchdogs are applauding landmark new standards adopted Wednesday by an international initiative focused on ensuring greater transparency among oil and mining companies operating particularly in developing countries.
With casualties in the long-running conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) now surpassing every conflict since World War II, U.S. policymakers and advocates are stepping up campaigns to raise awareness and push legislation aimed at encouraging new negotiations, assisting in government reforms, and pressuring the neighbouring countries that have propped up the DRC’s government.
The "blind and unrestricted" reintegration of M23 deserters into the Congolese army could harm the country, according to Thomas d'Aquin Mwiti, the chair of the North Kivu civil society platform, in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
The Congolese government is demanding a comprehensive strategy for a lasting solution for the repatriation of 127,537 Rwandan refugees estimated to be in the country.
When M23 rebels tried twice to arrange a protest march against a United Nations resolution to deploy an intervention brigade with an offensive mandate to eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, they had to postpone it because the local population would not participate.
As the first of South Africa’s troops are expected to begin arriving in the Democratic Republic of Congo as part of the United Nations intervention force at the end of April, governance experts have welcomed the world body’s new mandate in the Central African nation.
The Mai-Mai Kata-Katanga rebel group operating in Katanga, in south eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, say that they are engaged in an armed campaign for the autonomy of the province because they have not benefited from its rich mineral deposits.
Rape is often perceived as an individual trauma, but in reality its impact extends far beyond a single person and instead affects entire communities, complicating the already challenging task of helping victims of sexual violence.