Green MEP for London, Jean Lambert has today put forward an urgent motion demanding immediate international investigations into the atrocious practice of mass rape in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The motion, passed overwhelmingly by the European Parliament, also calls upon the DRC government to prioritise action on the issue of mass rape against women and reminds President Kabila that he has personally undertaken a commitment to pursue a zero-tolerance policy against sexual violence and to prosecute the perpetrators of war crimes.
The United Nations estimates that a staggering 200,000 women and girls have been the victims of rape or sexual violence in the Congo during the last 15 years.
Speaking after the vote, Jean, a member of the European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, said: “Rape and sexual violence are weapons being used indiscriminately by all sides in the war in Congo. The victims are innocent people caught in the crossfire who often suffer serious health and psychological problems as well as rejection by their own families while the perpetrators walk free.
“The EU, UN and the African Union must take all necessary steps to end the atrocities taking place in the DRC. I urge the EU to use the development funds allocated to the Congo, as a matter of priority, to provide medical, legal and social support for victims of sexual abuse to help empower women and girls in order to prevent further sexual abuse.”
Notes to Editors
1. The full text of the resolution can be read here: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=MOTION&reference=P7-RC-2011-0442&language=EN