Hundreds of women who have been victims of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo came out to protest over the trauma and abandonment they continue to suffer decades after they were raped.
The women who participated in the march which took place in Bukavu, South Kivu last night are calling for the application of the recommendations of the United Nations “Mapping Report”.
The 550-page Mapping Report contains descriptions of 617 alleged violent incidents occurring in the Democratic Republic of Congo between March 1993 and June 2003.
“We have marched with the children we gave birth to after rape to show that sexual violence is being transmitted from generation to generation, and if we have to leave our generation, which is a traumatised generation, because all Congolese are traumatized people, then we have negated on our responsibilities.
“We have marched with these children to show that our future generations are also traumatised.
“If we do not succeed in receiving justice today, we would still have a traumatized generation and Congo will be remain a sick country”, Tatiana Mukanire, National Coordinator of the Movement of Survivors of Sexual Violence, said.
“For me, it is a sentiment of deception to see that years of silence, the suffering of Congolese and the survivors has become normal.
“For me, it is abnormal to see that the international community, the Congolese government, the Congolese politicians are doing nothing, whereas we all are the same, we are all humans and we have a right to justice, we all have rights to peace,” Tatiana added.
During the demonstration, two memoranda, with one addressed to the Congolese president, Felix Tshisekedi, and the other to an unnamed addressee, were handed over to Governor Theo Mgwabidje Kasi.
The demonstrators also called on the head of state to invest on the creation and the effective functioning of a penal tribunal in Congo.
They urged the Secretary General of the United Nations Organisation to support the mechanism of truth on the crimes committed in the Democratic Republic of Congo.