An apathetic, greedy west has abandoned war-torn Congo (June 2009)
Despite an emerging women’s movement, the rape of women and girls continues as the UN looks the other way.
In 1996, I was sitting with 20,000 grieving women in a stadium in Tuzla, Bosnia. The women were holding photographs of husbands, fathers, brothers, sons and boyfriends who had been disappeared a year earlier in a place called Srebrenica, a UN enclave where Bosnian refugees had turned over their protection to UN peacekeepers who stood passively by as 10,000 men were marched off to be slaughtered. I will never forget the wailing of the women in that stadium as they cried out, demanding the international community explain how they could have allowed this horror to take place.
Now, 13 years later, I am in Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo, where, this time, UN peacekeepers (Monuc) are not passively standing by and watching the massacres, but are actually supporting the perpetrators.