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.