Rape as a Weapon of War in Congo

“The teenager with flowers in her hair crossed her hands to keep them from trembling and described how she was raped by 10 militiamen.

Abducted two years ago when she was 16, Ombeni was kept as a concubine in the forests of eastern Congo. She became pregnant and at nearly nine months gestation, her captors cut her vagina with a machete, leaving the baby dead and abandoning the teenager in the forest.

“I laid there for one week,” Ombeni said. “Until insects came out of my body.” Ombeni was eventually rescued by a woman who was foraging for food and made her way to a clinic for rape victims.

She is one of thousands of women who are brutally raped each year in Congo, another layer of degradation in a war that never seems to end. In a briefing before the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday, UN humanitarian chief Jan Egeland said rape as a weapon of war was at its worst in eastern Congo and the Darfur region of Sudan.” [Read more]