The one that got away

In honor of the anniversary of Congolese independence (June 30, 1960), I bring you along on a journey into my inner monologue, provisionally titled “Argh! Why is coverage of the Congo always so f***ed up? (Part XVIII).”

My Google news alert for the DRC spat this out for me the other day: “DR Congo: UN calls for urgent reform after women raped during attempted prison-break.” Of course I clicked through, because nothing compliments a breakfast of ibuprofen and coffee like tales of sexual assault in the Congo.

Tragically, however, the linked UN News Centre article provided little in the way of information beyond “Some rapes occurred during a rape by rapists. Also the Congo has prisons.”

A follow-up the next day added that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon was “deeply distressed” by the rapes. Finally, a few days later, I was assured that the UN is totally on top of things and is, even as we speak, in the process of reforming the Congolese prison system so that the events vaguely described in earlier coverage don’t happen again. Phew.

Via Kate at Wronging Rights. You can see why I’m disappointed Yale lost her to Columbia…

2 thoughts on “The one that got away

  1. MJPC blames the Congolese Government for the Deteriorating Situation in East Congo(DRC)

    "There is no excuse for missing to pay salaries to soldiers in lawless eastern Congo for six months"

    Following the deteriorating situation in east Congo, the MJPC called today for the Congolese Government to urgently pay the salaries to thousands of soldiers who have not been paid for over six months in eastern Congo, take swift action to enforce the International Criminal Court's (ICC) warrant against Bosco Ntaganda and to hold accountable perpetrators of sexual violence against women for their acts.

    "Failing to hold accountable individuals who commit war crimes and crimes against humunity continues to be the leading cause of widespread and systematic sexual violence acts against girls and women in the easten Congo" said Makuba Sekombo, Community Affairs Director of the Mobilization for Justice and Peace in the DR Congo (MJPC).

    Mr. Sekombo again criticized the government of Congo for not only the continuing failure to protect women and young girls from sexual violence, but also for "encouraging conditions that create opportunities for sexual violence to occur". "There is no excuse for missing to pay salaries to soldiers in the lawless eastern Congo for six months" said Sekombo. The MJPC has also renewed its call for the Congolese government to take urgent needed action to end human rights abuses in east Congo, hold perpetrators accountable and ensure reparation for the victims of sexual violence.

    The MJPC has been urging the Congolese government to compensate the victims of sexual violence in order to also help combat impunity in eastern part of Congo where sexual violence against women and children has been widely used as weapon of war for more than decade. The MJPC online petition calling for help to put pressure on Congolese Government to compensate victims of sexual siolence in Eastern DRC can be signed at

    About MJPC
    MJPC works to add a voice in advocating for justice and peace in the DRC particulary in the east of DRC where thousands innocent civilian including children and women continue to suffer massive human rights violations while armed groups responsible for these crimes go unpunished
    For more information about the MJPC and its activities, visit or call Makuba Sekombo @ 1-408-8063-644 or e-mail: [email protected]. The online petition calling on the Congolese Government to put urgently in place a comprehensive program of compensation for the victims of sexual violence in eastern Congo can be signed at