I never thought I’d be blogging so much about Eastern Congo but the recent violence there has brought renewed attention to the conflict and especially to the war against women waged by armed groups on all sides. Today on The World, Lisa Mullins interviewed a UK-based nurse called Leah Chishugi who is originally from Goma in the DRC. Chishugi went back recently to interview women there about the sexual violence they’ve endured. The Guardian has a profile and video she shot while she was there.
The Nation is also on the story–Ann Jones has an excellent piece this week about the Kamanyola Women’s Collective. Kamanyola is a town in South Kivu Province, near the Rwandan border.With the help of the International Rescue Committee the women there banded together to help rape victims in their community and created a remarkable organization that gives women a voice where often they have none. I visited the same women a year ago and did this radio piece about their work. (Scroll down to see a few photos too.) The Nation piece has more detail though and you can tell Ann Jones spent real time there. Mine was only a fleeting visit.
Mia Farrow has just returned from Goma and environs as well. Here’s some audio of her from yesterday. She tried to describe the situation: “I don’t like to call it war. The people there will call it the war. To me it’s an insanity that goes way beyond war. In the absense of all order and all systems you have a complete rampage of armed groups tearing apart the civilian population and you have an atmosphere of complete impunity.”
And a couple more links of the day:
Herman Cohen on what a common market could do for Congo and Rwanda in the NYT.
Les Roberts on death-by-fear in Eastern Congo at Making Sense of Darfur. (This post was prompted by Hugo Slim’s new book Killing Civilians: Methods, Madness, and Morality in War. It sounds like a must-read for this death-and-destruction reporter. Sigh.)