Ending sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Christine du Coudray, head of Aid to the Church in Need’s (ACN) Africa Desk welcomed Hillary Clinton’s visit to the crisis-torn Kivu region in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo. “Her visit refocused the world’s attention on a region that had been, to an unbelievable extent, forgotten,” said Miss du Coudray. Mrs. Clinton spoke out against rape and other sexual violence committed by the army and rebel groups according to the UN, more than 7,500 cases of sexual violence were reported in 2008.
Miss du Coudray reported that the UN does not support families taking in refugees from war-torn areas. Underlining how their only source of help is the local Catholic Church, she said, “Such acts of genuine neighborly charity are not encouraged [by the UN] and the host families get no help with feeding the refugees.”
Sister Espérance Hamuli, the Superior of the Ursuline Sisters, described how religious orders have risen to the challenge of helping those affected by ongoing violence in DR Congo. She said, “We want to rescue the young people who are in danger of being wiped out, and we want to cry out still louder on behalf of those who have no voice, so that our people can know that there is a way out of their suffering, a way to life and not only of violence.”
Last year ACN supported the work of the Catholic Church in DR Congo with more than $2.19 million.