Sunday, December 04, 2011

DR Congo: Rein in Security Forces

November 28 was the presidential and legislative elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo. But there was a lot of electoral violence. Between 11/26-28, at least 18 civilians died and 100 were seriously wounded, according to the Human Rights Watch. The majority of these people were killed by the Republican Guard soldiers, and rival political parties, and attacked by armed groups and mob violence. A researcher said, “security forces should be protecting people, not fueling the violence.” I think this is something that many of us have said but it never happens. In countries all of the world, including the US, the security forces are not adhering to the law and are not protecting citizens. The Republican Guard soldiers shot and wounded a 21-year-old pregnant woman while she walked home from the market. She said. “they began shooting at everyone in the crowds on the side of the road. I anted to run, but the soldiers shot me in the foot.” Violence like this must be stopped.     


HumanRightsAdvocate23 said...

I wonder what role human rights organizations played in the election and what role they could play in the future to ensure community safty.

Anne said...

Reading about the situation in the DRC makes my stomach drop. Continuing armed conflict in the country has left communities in shambles and has torn families apart. Beyond the acts of indiscriminate murder, torture, and imprisonment, rebels use horrifying acts of sexual violence as weapons not against individuals, but against society. While rape in war has generally been used against women- the symbol of a family’s honor- rebels calculatedly commit an overwhelming proportion of rape against men. This inverts the social norms of the DRC in a profound and multifaceted way, violating not only individual notions of integrity, but also the community’s. What's even more shocking is that the country's own security forces and outside aid organizations are committing these rapes and human rights abuses. In a situation like this, where can they turn to for help?

HumanRightsAdvocate23 said...

@ Anne - attempts made to provide safety and services from international organizations lead to serious issues since unknowingly material and aid was given to some of the groups that were taking direct part or really leading human wrong violations. I think a way forward is to really utilize DRC experts that know and understand the community and use the little structure that exists to help them rebuild their country. We can only provide support - the community members must be engaged in rebuilding their communities to ensure that they could live in peace.