On the second morning of PHR’s training in Bukavu, DRC, Dr. Désiré Alumeti Munyali, a pediatric surgeon at Panzi Hospital who was helping with the training received a call from his colleagues...
PHR’s team just returned from a training session in the DRC, where they are working with international and local partners to hold perpetrators accountable for using rape as a weapon of war. This is the second in a series.
This past October, PHR’s Deputy Director Susannah Sirkin and I had the opportunity to sit in on an appeals hearing in Kaléhé, a small village in South Kivu, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) for a case concerning abduction, mass rape, sexual enslavement, and murder.
Earlier this week, Gambian lawyer Fatou Bensouda was chosen to be the new Chief Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court. She will be the second person, and the first African, to hold this position. Bensouda was the likely choice for the position given her professional qualifications, including serving as Deputy Prosecutor to Luis Moreno-Ocampo during his nine-year tenure as Chief Prosecutor of the Court. Given the extent of the ICC’s work in Africa – all seven of the countries with cases before the court are African – the choice of an African prosecutor seems especially appropriate.
So often, stories of sexual violence leave one left with a debilitating sense of hopelessness and despair at the extent of the problem and the wide-ranging and enduring effects on survivors and their communities. For this year’s 16 Days Campaign, PHR is pleased to relay the hope, strength, and power that we’ve witnessed while traveling in Kenya and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where mass rape in conflict situations has been so extreme.