DR Congo: Weapons facilitate sexual violence against women

It is estimated that 8,000 women were raped in eastern DR Congo in 2009, the United Nations Population Fund said last week. The sexual violence has been committed mostly by armed militia and government security forces. In this context, the availability of weapons facilitates sexual abuse and kidnapping. "Ending sexual violence against women in eastern Congo and bringing the conflict to an end demands a more comprehensive strategy than military force alone. Controlling the flow of small arms and imposing dialogue among armed actors requires political will from the UN Security Council, the Congolese government and other countries in the Great Lakes Region," said IANSA member Marie Claire Faray.