An Intersectional Analysis of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in the Regional Conflict in the Great Lakes Region of Africa since 1994: The Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (2/2)

06.06.2021

Bridget Nievinski

Introduction

As a continuation of the intersectional analysis of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV)1]“Sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) refers to any act that is perpetrated against a person’s will and is based on gender norms and unequal power relationships”. “Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) prevention and response”, UNHCR The UN Refugee Agency, accessed 25 February 2021, url: https://emergency.unhcr.org/entry/60283/sexual-and-gender-based-violence-sgbv-prevention-and-response in the Great Lakes Region since 1994, this article focuses on the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). This country is labeled by many, including foreign ministers and  humanitarian workers, as “the most dangerous place on Earth to be a woman3]“The Fight Against Sexual Violence”, United States Institute of Peace, 6 August 2015, url : https://youtu.be/GfxJbVH6ZwE”. Research estimates that in 2011 between 1.69 and 1.80 million women have been raped in the DRC, specifically the North and South Kivu regions in the east2]Peterman, Amber, Tia Palermo and  Caryn Bredenkamp, “Estimates and Determinants of Sexual Violence Against Women in the Democratic Republic of Congo”, American Public Health Association, June 2011, url : https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3093289/. Data exists for the same year by the American Public Health Association which suggests that every minute a woman is raped in the DRC4]Amber Peterman and Caryn Bredenkamp, “Estimates and Determinants of Sexual Violence Against Women in the Democratic Republic of Congo”,  American Public Health Association, 30 August 2011, url : https://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/abs/10.2105/AJPH.2010.300070?hits=10&andorexactfulltext=and&FIRSTINDEX=0&searchid=1&author1=Bredenkamp&resourcetype=HWCIT&RESULTFORMAT=&sortspec=relevance&maxtoshow=. While exact numbers are difficult to delineate, SGBV in this region is widespread and increasing, particularly when there is a rise in military operations5]“Democratic Republic of Congo”, Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, 2020, url : https://www.un.org/sexualviolenceinconflict/countries/democratic-republic-of-the-congo/. According to a United Nations (UN) report, for example, the cases of SBGV in conflict have risen by 34 percent from 2018 to 20196]“Democratic Republic of Congo”, Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, 2020, url : https://www.un.org/sexualviolenceinconflict/countries/democratic-republic-of-the-congo/. This violence is primarily situated within conflict perpetuated by the culture of impunity7]“Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women examines the situation of women’s rights in the Democratic Republic of Congo”, United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner, 9 July 2019, url : https://www.ohchr.org/en/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=24820&LangID=E. It is worth mentioning that SGBV also occurs outside of conflict, for example, within families or by civilians. While a general “culture of violence against women and girls8]Human Rights Watch, The War Within the War : Sexual Violence Against Women and Girls in Eastern Congo, June 2002, page 2, url : https://www.hrw.org/reports/2002/drc/Congo0602.pdf” exists, this article focuses on SGBV by soldiers in the context of ongoing armed conflict.

Using intersectionality as a research paradigm, the second paper in this series examines the motivations behind SGBV by various armed groups taking into consideration the ethnic and political identities of both the soldiers and the victims as well as observing the role age and class play in victimization. We will begin by contextualizing the conflict in the eastern DRC, pinpointing a few armed groups in the region to identify patterns of victimization through an intersectional lens9]Reminding Patricia Hill Collin’s definition of intersectionality which “views categories of race, class, gender, sexuality, class, nation, ability, ethnicity, and age – among others – as interrelated and mutually shaping one another”. In comparison to the first article which examines rape and other forms of SGBV during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda considering ethnic and socio-political identity, the analysis of motivations for such violence in the DRC is more complex.

Contextualizing of the conflict in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo

Navigating the politics and monitoring human rights violations in the Great Lakes region requires a deep understanding of the colonial history and, more importantly, the post-independence trajectory as well as the rivalries of micro-nations10]For a clearer understanding of micro-nations in Africa, see Wangari Maathai’s The Challenge for Africa (2009)., i.e., the Hutu and Tutsi. The first article in this series introduced the mass exodus of Hutu genocidaires into the eastern part of the DRC after the Rwandan Patriotic Front invaded from Uganda, stopped the genocide and established a new government in Rwanda.

Two years after the 1994 Rwandan genocide, two wars erupted in the DRC (1996 – 1997; 1998 – 2003). In the context of the first Congo war, Rwanda and Uganda supported Laurent-Désiré Kabila, a rebel leader, in the effort to overthrow Mobutu Sese Seko (1965 – 1997), a corrupt and ruthless dictator. The regional alliances switched in the second Congo war. The new president, Laurent-Désiré Kabila, abandoned his alliances with Uganda and Rwanda, resulting in an invasion of these two countries into the east of the DRC11]Human Rights Watch, Soldiers Who Rape, Commanders Who Condone : Sexual Violence and Military Reform in the Democratic Republic of Congo, July 2009, page 15, url : https://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/drc0709web.pdf. These conflicts, and the numerous military operations that  followed, can be understood as shifting political alliances in the region, notably between the DRC and Rwanda. However, these fluctuations do not provide a comprehensive understanding of the conflict in the region, nor SGBV.

While the war officially ended in 2003 and a peace process ensued attempting to bring transitional justice, repatriation of Rwandan Hutu rebels, disarmament and reintegration of the various armed groups, little progress was made and fighting continues amongst armed groups and the national army12]“Congo: Bringing Peace to North Kivu”, International Crisis Group, 31 October 2007, url : https://www.crisisgroup.org/africa/central-africa/democratic-republic-congo/congo-bringing-peace-north-kivu. Armed groups in eastern DRC have political motivations and micro-nation loyalties, though many of them operate to illegally exploit natural resources which fuels conflict in the region. Researchers have noticed a trend that when fighting and military operations intensify, so do the cases of sexual violence. Regrettably, this increase is documented among civilian perpetrators as well13]Human Rights Watch, Soldiers Who Rape, Commanders Who Condone : Sexual Violence and Military Reform in the Democratic Republic of Congo, July 2009, page 15, url : https://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/drc0709web.pdf. Contrary to the Rwandan genocide where a significant majority of SGBV was committed by the Interahamwe (the Hutu militia), civilians in the DRC are targeted on all sides. For example, the Rwandan Hutu Militia (Les Forces Démocratiques de Libération du Rwanda, the FDLR), the March 23 Movement (M23), the Congolese government army (Forces Armées de la République Démocratique du Congo, the FARDC), and the Mai-Mai militias have all been accused of rape and other forms of SGBV against civilians.

To better situate these armed groups, it helps to understand their motivations with “deep ethnic undertones that politicians and warlords manipulate to further their interests14]Paul Nantulya, “A Medley of Armed Groups Play on Congo’s Crisis”, Africa Center for Strategic Studies, 24 October 2017, url : https://africacenter.org/spotlight/medley-armed-groups-play-congo-crisis/”. The FDLR “was created by former members of the Interahamwe and ex-Rwandan Armed Forces responsible for the 1994 genocide against the Rwandan Tutsi15]Paul Nantulya, “A Medley of Armed Groups Play on Congo’s Crisis”, Africa Center for Strategic Studies, 24 October 2017, url : https://africacenter.org/spotlight/medley-armed-groups-play-congo-crisis/” and is in direct conflict with the M23. The M23 is one armed group made up of ethnic Banyamulenge (Congolese Tutsi in the town of Mulenge) with alleged support from the Rwandan government16]“Violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo”,  Global Conflict Tracker, 1 March 2021, url : https://www.cfr.org/global-conflict-tracker/conflict/violence-democratic-republic-congo. This group fought against the central government in 2012 and was defeated by the UN Force Intervention Brigade in 2013, yet there remains a possibility that the group will reform and revive more violence17]Paul Nantulya, “A Medley of Armed Groups Play on Congo’s Crisis”, Africa Center for Strategic Studies, 24 October 2017, url : https://africacenter.org/spotlight/medley-armed-groups-play-congo-crisis/. “The Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) of Uganda is another major militia operating in the region,18]Paul Nantulya, “A Medley of Armed Groups Play on Congo’s Crisis”, Africa Center for Strategic Studies, 24 October 2017, url : https://africacenter.org/spotlight/medley-armed-groups-play-congo-crisis/” particularly in Beni province of North Kivu19]“Sexual Violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, January to October 2020”, Insecurity  Insight, 21 November 2020,  url : https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/January-October-2020-Sexual-Violence-in-the-DRC.pdf. The mention of these three armed groups is important because they have all committed serious war crimes in the DRC, some of which have ethnic motivations. The FARDC, the government army, consists of many soldiers from formerly opposing armed groups who have merged as a part of the peace process20]Human Rights Watch, Soldiers Who Rape, Commanders Who Condone: Sexual Violence and Military Reform in the Democratic Republic of Congo, July 2009, page 21, url : https://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/drc0709web.pdf. Given this mixture of former enemies working together, there is “considerable internal division21]Human Rights Watch, Soldiers Who Rape, Commanders Who Condone: Sexual Violence and Military Reform in the Democratic Republic of Congo, July 2009, page 25, url : https://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/drc0709web.pdf” within specific brigades but also within the entire army. Lastly, the Mai Mai militias are locally based with “different political and cultural meanings22]Paul Nantulya, “A Medley of Armed Groups Play on Congo’s Crisis”, Africa Center for Strategic Studies, 24 October 2017, url : https://africacenter.org/spotlight/medley-armed-groups-play-congo-crisis/”, sometimes targeting ethnic groups. We can see that in the DRC, there are armed groups operating with foreign backing and membership based on ethnicity, a brittle government army with in-fighting and lack of leadership that creates fertile ground for war crimes, and local militias bonded over various motivations. 

Intersection of identities and their role in victimization of women in the DRC

Amongst the violence and conflict driven by ethnic hatred, greed, or both, women often find themselves victims, fighting a “War Within a War23]Human Rights Watch, The War Within the War: Sexual Violence Against Women and Girls in Eastern Congo, June 2002, url : https://www.hrw.org/reports/2002/drc/Congo0602.pdf”. This refers to gender-based violence which, in the context of the DRC, includes rape, gang rape, sexual mutilation, and sexual slavery. Though some war crimes committed during the ongoing conflict in the DRC, namely SGBV, do target particular ethnic groups, many women are raped strategically to instill fear and destroy communities irrespective of ethnicity. In other cases, some perpetrators, civilian or soldier, “take advantage of the prevailing climate of impunity24]Human Rights Watch, The War Within the War : Sexual Violence Against Women and Girls in Eastern Congo, June 2002, page 2, url : https://www.hrw.org/reports/2002/drc/Congo0602.pdf”. Similar to SGBV in Rwanda during the genocide, in the DRC, “sexual violence was widespread and sometimes systematic, a weapon of war used by all sides to deliberately terrorize civilians, to exert control over them, or to punish them for perceived collaboration with the enemy25]Human Rights Watch, Soldiers Who Rape, Commanders Who Condone : Sexual Violence and Military Reform in the Democratic Republic of Congo, July 2009, page 15, url : https://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/drc0709web.pdf”. While we cannot substantiate rape or other forms of SGBV as an act of genocide, they can be considered as a war crime as well as either strategic or opportunistic rape (see article 1 of this series).

Women use language, uniforms, and physical appearance to identify their attackers, however, some soldiers reveal their affiliation and often the women know these men from their community26]Human Rights Watch, The War Within the War : Sexual Violence Against Women and Girls in Eastern Congo, June 2002, page 2,url : https://www.hrw.org/reports/2002/drc/Congo0602.pdf. With many armed groups operating in the area, identifying the perpetrators is not always possible and there are instances where women inaccurately label their attackers. For example, some perpetrators purposefully speak a language associated with another ethnicity or armed group to trick their victims. This uncertainty makes it more difficult to understand which attacks are ethnically motivated. Nonetheless, HRW conducted interviews with some survivors of SGBV whose testimonies demonstrate the role ethnicity played in their victimization. In some of them, women testified that they were targeted for reasons such as being “friend of the Tutsi27]Human Rights Watch, Soldiers Who Rape, Commanders Who Condone : Sexual Violence and Military Reform in the Democratic Republic of Congo, July 2009, page 32, url : https://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/drc0709web.pdf” which would most likely be a rape for punishment of collaboration with an enemy. Some Congolese soldiers targeted Hutu women and accused them of being FDLR combatants or wives28]Human Rights Watch, “You Will Be Punished” : Attacks on Civilians in Congo, December 2009,  page 14, url : https://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/drc1209webwcover2.pdf, however, we cannot make any general accusations claiming that one group of armed forces uniquely targets women of a specific ethnicity. HRW collected evidence that FARDC soldiers were often murdering and raping civilians as revenge, accusing them of betrayal29]Human Rights Watch, “You Will Be Punished” : Attacks on Civilians in Congo, December 2009,  page 12, url : https://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/drc1209webwcover2.pdf. These few examples demonstrate that SGBV in the eastern DRC is widespread, but a broad theory cannot be applied to every situation of violence within this war.

According to humanitarian workers, not only is the DRC the worst place to be a woman,  but also to be a child. “UNFPA also reported that more than 65 percent of victims of sexual violence during the same period were children, the majority adolescent” and ten percent of these girls were under the age of ten30]Human Rights Watch, Soldiers Who Rape, Commanders Who Condone : Sexual Violence and Military Reform in the Democratic Republic of Congo, July 2009, pages 12-14 url : https://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/drc0709web.pdf. Some men raped babies and young children to avoid catching the virus but also because it is believed that having sex with a virgin could cure HIV/AIDS31]Human Rights Watch, The War Within the War : Sexual Violence Against Women and Girls in Eastern Congo, June 2002, page 56, url : https://www.hrw.org/reports/2002/drc/Congo0602.pdf. Other sources find that raping young girls would give the men “supernatural powers” and mystical protection against their enemies32]Fiston Mahamba, “Congo fighters jailed for life after child rape ceremonies: rights groups”, Reuters, 13 December 2017, url : https://www.reuters.com/article/us-congo-violence-idUSKBN1E72NE”. HRW reports that soldiers and armed combatants target young girls as well as women “to help establish their dominance in the region33]Human Rights Watch, The War Within the War : Sexual Violence Against Women and Girls in Eastern Congo, June 2002, page 56, url : https://www.hrw.org/reports/2002/drc/Congo0602.pdf”. Thus, we can argue that the age of their victims played a role for men with HIV/AIDS. However, it is not only Congolese armed groups that target children: reports indicate that UN peacekeepers have sexually abused women in the DRC, “including notably sexual exploitation of minors34]Human Rights Watch, Soldiers Who Rape, Commanders Who Condone : Sexual Violence and Military Reform in the Democratic Republic of Congo, July 2009, pages 39 url : https://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/drc0709web.pdf”. This culture of impunity extends beyond the Congolese and has infiltrated the UN, an organization that was created to foster international peace and security.

Since many cases of sexual violence were accompanied by looting35]Human Rights Watch, Soldiers Who Rape, Commanders Who Condone : Sexual Violence and Military Reform in the Democratic Republic of Congo, July 2009, page 27, url : https://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/drc0709web.pdf, the intersection of class can be examined to understand the role it plays in victimization.  To illustrate, a young Tutsi girl with more money to her name would be at higher risk of SBGV if the FDLR was conducting military operations in her community. Often times, perpetrators steal everything from their victims and punish them if they had nothing worth stealing36]Human Rights Watch, The War Within the War : Sexual Violence Against Women and Girls in Eastern Congo, June 2002, page 24, url : https://www.hrw.org/reports/2002/drc/Congo0602.pdf. Then there is also the notion of “survival sex” on which women would trade sex to service the needs of their families and themselves37]Human Rights Watch, The War Within the War : Sexual Violence Against Women and Girls in Eastern Congo, June 2002, page 21, url : https://www.hrw.org/reports/2002/drc/Congo0602.pdf. As HRW explains, “survival sex is different from the crimes of sexual violence committed by soldiers and combatants. But survival sex creates a context in which abusive sexual relationships are more accepted, and in which many men—whether civilian or combatant—regard sex as a “service” easy to get with the use of pressure38]Human Rights Watch, The War Within the War : Sexual Violence Against Women and Girls in Eastern Congo, June 2002, page 21, url : https://www.hrw.org/reports/2002/drc/Congo0602.pdf”. As a result of this culture, some men “understood payment as legitimizing sex, regardless of consent39]Human Rights Watch, Soldiers Who Rape, Commanders Who Condone : Sexual Violence and Military Reform in the Democratic Republic of Congo, July 2009, page 43, url : https://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/drc0709web.pdf” and have consequently justified their rape because they paid their victims. Accordingly, money does play a role in sexual violence against women.

Conclusion

In this article we considered how ethnicity, age and class are measured by men who target women in the eastern DRC where the conflict, spilled over from the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, has waged war against women over the past two decades. Intersectionality argues that oppressions against them overlap and form a “matrix of domination40]See first article in this series.”.  This article concludes that various armed groups used SGBV to terrorize communities and impose their dominance, to punish women of certain ethnicities or for their political alliances, and even for personal gain. SGBV occurred during the Congo wars, throughout the peace process and continues today as the conflict is deeply rooted and protracted. For the sake of Congolese, it is essential that necessary steps are taken in the DRC to prevent the war from being fought on the bodies of women and, furthermore, that the region reaches stability so that entire communities can reconcile and rebuild.

To cite this article: Bridget NIEVINSKI, “An Intersectional Analysis of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in the Regional Conflict in the Great Lakes Region of Africa since 1994: The Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (2/2)”, 06.06.2021, Gender in Geopolitics Institute.

The content of this document reflects the opinions of the author.

References   [ + ]

1. “Sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) refers to any act that is perpetrated against a person’s will and is based on gender norms and unequal power relationships”. “Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) prevention and response”, UNHCR The UN Refugee Agency, accessed 25 February 2021, url: https://emergency.unhcr.org/entry/60283/sexual-and-gender-based-violence-sgbv-prevention-and-response
2. Peterman, Amber, Tia Palermo and  Caryn Bredenkamp, “Estimates and Determinants of Sexual Violence Against Women in the Democratic Republic of Congo”, American Public Health Association, June 2011, url : https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3093289/
3. “The Fight Against Sexual Violence”, United States Institute of Peace, 6 August 2015, url : https://youtu.be/GfxJbVH6ZwE
4. Amber Peterman and Caryn Bredenkamp, “Estimates and Determinants of Sexual Violence Against Women in the Democratic Republic of Congo”,  American Public Health Association, 30 August 2011, url : https://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/abs/10.2105/AJPH.2010.300070?hits=10&andorexactfulltext=and&FIRSTINDEX=0&searchid=1&author1=Bredenkamp&resourcetype=HWCIT&RESULTFORMAT=&sortspec=relevance&maxtoshow=
5, 6. “Democratic Republic of Congo”, Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, 2020, url : https://www.un.org/sexualviolenceinconflict/countries/democratic-republic-of-the-congo/
7. “Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women examines the situation of women’s rights in the Democratic Republic of Congo”, United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner, 9 July 2019, url : https://www.ohchr.org/en/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=24820&LangID=E
8, 24. Human Rights Watch, The War Within the War : Sexual Violence Against Women and Girls in Eastern Congo, June 2002, page 2, url : https://www.hrw.org/reports/2002/drc/Congo0602.pdf
9. Reminding Patricia Hill Collin’s definition of intersectionality which “views categories of race, class, gender, sexuality, class, nation, ability, ethnicity, and age – among others – as interrelated and mutually shaping one another”
10. For a clearer understanding of micro-nations in Africa, see Wangari Maathai’s The Challenge for Africa (2009).
11, 13, 25. Human Rights Watch, Soldiers Who Rape, Commanders Who Condone : Sexual Violence and Military Reform in the Democratic Republic of Congo, July 2009, page 15, url : https://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/drc0709web.pdf
12. “Congo: Bringing Peace to North Kivu”, International Crisis Group, 31 October 2007, url : https://www.crisisgroup.org/africa/central-africa/democratic-republic-congo/congo-bringing-peace-north-kivu
14, 15, 17, 18, 22. Paul Nantulya, “A Medley of Armed Groups Play on Congo’s Crisis”, Africa Center for Strategic Studies, 24 October 2017, url : https://africacenter.org/spotlight/medley-armed-groups-play-congo-crisis/
16. “Violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo”,  Global Conflict Tracker, 1 March 2021, url : https://www.cfr.org/global-conflict-tracker/conflict/violence-democratic-republic-congo
19. “Sexual Violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, January to October 2020”, Insecurity  Insight, 21 November 2020,  url : https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/January-October-2020-Sexual-Violence-in-the-DRC.pdf
20. Human Rights Watch, Soldiers Who Rape, Commanders Who Condone: Sexual Violence and Military Reform in the Democratic Republic of Congo, July 2009, page 21, url : https://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/drc0709web.pdf
21. Human Rights Watch, Soldiers Who Rape, Commanders Who Condone: Sexual Violence and Military Reform in the Democratic Republic of Congo, July 2009, page 25, url : https://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/drc0709web.pdf
23. Human Rights Watch, The War Within the War: Sexual Violence Against Women and Girls in Eastern Congo, June 2002, url : https://www.hrw.org/reports/2002/drc/Congo0602.pdf
26. Human Rights Watch, The War Within the War : Sexual Violence Against Women and Girls in Eastern Congo, June 2002, page 2,url : https://www.hrw.org/reports/2002/drc/Congo0602.pdf
27. Human Rights Watch, Soldiers Who Rape, Commanders Who Condone : Sexual Violence and Military Reform in the Democratic Republic of Congo, July 2009, page 32, url : https://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/drc0709web.pdf
28. Human Rights Watch, “You Will Be Punished” : Attacks on Civilians in Congo, December 2009,  page 14, url : https://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/drc1209webwcover2.pdf
29. Human Rights Watch, “You Will Be Punished” : Attacks on Civilians in Congo, December 2009,  page 12, url : https://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/drc1209webwcover2.pdf
30. Human Rights Watch, Soldiers Who Rape, Commanders Who Condone : Sexual Violence and Military Reform in the Democratic Republic of Congo, July 2009, pages 12-14 url : https://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/drc0709web.pdf
31, 33. Human Rights Watch, The War Within the War : Sexual Violence Against Women and Girls in Eastern Congo, June 2002, page 56, url : https://www.hrw.org/reports/2002/drc/Congo0602.pdf
32. Fiston Mahamba, “Congo fighters jailed for life after child rape ceremonies: rights groups”, Reuters, 13 December 2017, url : https://www.reuters.com/article/us-congo-violence-idUSKBN1E72NE
34. Human Rights Watch, Soldiers Who Rape, Commanders Who Condone : Sexual Violence and Military Reform in the Democratic Republic of Congo, July 2009, pages 39 url : https://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/drc0709web.pdf
35. Human Rights Watch, Soldiers Who Rape, Commanders Who Condone : Sexual Violence and Military Reform in the Democratic Republic of Congo, July 2009, page 27, url : https://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/drc0709web.pdf
36. Human Rights Watch, The War Within the War : Sexual Violence Against Women and Girls in Eastern Congo, June 2002, page 24, url : https://www.hrw.org/reports/2002/drc/Congo0602.pdf
37, 38. Human Rights Watch, The War Within the War : Sexual Violence Against Women and Girls in Eastern Congo, June 2002, page 21, url : https://www.hrw.org/reports/2002/drc/Congo0602.pdf
39. Human Rights Watch, Soldiers Who Rape, Commanders Who Condone : Sexual Violence and Military Reform in the Democratic Republic of Congo, July 2009, page 43, url : https://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/drc0709web.pdf
40. See first article in this series.

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