girls in eastern Congo’s North Kivu Province are once again suffering increased
levels of sexual violence amid renewed conflict and widespread displacement of
A team from the
International Rescue Committee recently conducted an assessment of conditions
in Kibati Camp, north of Goma, where roughly 55 thousand people have settled.
Sarah Spencer, the Emergency
Gender-based Violence Coordinator of the International Rescue Committee (IRC)
told VOA’s Akwei Thompson sexual violence is widespread in parts of North Kivu,
describing the situation as being endemic, “particularly since the recent
escalation in conflict and the recent crashes between various armed groups in
combats all over the province.”
Spencer said the violence is
not confined to the conflict affected areas and areas of heavy fighting, but
also while they’re living in displaced camps.
The IRC coordinator said the
atrocities are committed by all parties of the conflict. “We have been seeing
an increase of civilians perpetrating sexual violence as well.”
Spencer said the three-day
assessment found that ”while there were a number of notable services underway
in Kibati the population exceeds the services available. More help will be
needed, now and in the long-term, to address the psychological and physical
needs of survivors of sexual violence, she added.