News / Africa

UN Strengthens Fight Against Wartime Rape

A victim of a mass rape campaign in the town of Fizi, Democratic Republic of Congo on Sunday, Feb. 20, 2011 in Fizi, Congo. She was among nearly 50 women who were raped by Congolese soldiers on January 1, 2011.
A victim of a mass rape campaign in the town of Fizi, Democratic Republic of Congo on Sunday, Feb. 20, 2011 in Fizi, Congo. She was among nearly 50 women who were raped by Congolese soldiers on January 1, 2011.
Margaret Besheer
— The U.N. Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution strengthening ways to fight the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war.

U.N. agencies estimate more than 40,000 women were raped during Liberia’s civil war from 1989-2003, as many as 60,000 in the former Yugoslavia during the early 1990s, and at least 200,000 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo since 1998.

Syria has now been added to this sad list, with reports of women and girls, and some boys, being sexually violated as a result of that country’s on-going conflict.

Those are just a few examples.

After a war ends, the effects of sexual violence continue in the form of pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections, discrimination and ostracizing of victims.

The resolution adopted Monday by the U.N. Security Council aims to strengthen mechanisms across the U.N. system that can help tackle rape in war, such as deploying gender advisors with peacekeeping and political missions and urging sanctions against perpetrators of sexual violence where appropriate.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague, who chaired the meeting, called for an end to sexual violence, saying it is as much a weapon of war as tanks and bullets, intended to tear apart communities and achieve military objectives.

“We need action on all fronts, from the Security Council and the United Nations as a whole, and from governments in conflict-affected countries," Hague said. "We need to begin to demolish impunity, to create a new culture of deterrence, and at the same time focus on long-term care and support for survivors.”

Perpetrators often go unpunished and are able to rebuild their lives, but their victims have difficulty moving forward, according to Zainab Bangura, the U.N. point-person on sexual violence in conflict.

“In their day-to-day lives, survivors of sexual violence are forced to face the men who raped them; in banks, in supermarkets and at the schools of their children," Bangura said, "children whose inheritance is the stigma of sexual violence, many of whom are children born of rape.”

She said the international community must raise the cost and consequences for the perpetrators of these crimes.
Angelina Jolie, Special Envoy for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, speaks before a U.N. Security Council meeting on sexual violence in conflict, June 24, 2013, at UN headquarters in New York.Angelina Jolie, Special Envoy for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, speaks before a U.N. Security Council meeting on sexual violence in conflict, June 24, 2013, at UN headquarters in New York.
x
Angelina Jolie, Special Envoy for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, speaks before a U.N. Security Council meeting on sexual violence in conflict, June 24, 2013, at UN headquarters in New York.
Angelina Jolie, Special Envoy for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, speaks before a U.N. Security Council meeting on sexual violence in conflict, June 24, 2013, at UN headquarters in New York.
Also addressing the council meeting was American actress and humanitarian activist Angelina Jolie, who is a U.N. Special Envoy for Refugees.

She appealed to the Security Council to be united in stopping such atrocities.

“Rape as a weapon of war is an assault on security," Jolie said. "And a world in which these crimes happen is one in which there is not, and never will be, peace.”

She noted that all countries are affected by some form of sexual violence, whether it is domestic abuse or female genital mutilation, and therefore all countries have a responsibility to act to prevent it.

You May Like

Mali's Female Basketball Players Rebound After Islamist Occupation

Islamist extremists ruled northern Mali for most of 2012, imposing strict Sharia law, and now some 18 months later, the region is slowly getting back on its feet More

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

Many Chinese-made products go unsold, for now, with numerous Vietnamese consumers still angry over recent dispute More

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid