Holding out for justice in the Congo

He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?    
Micah 6:8

The Bible is riddled with examples of God’s love for justice and his commands for his people to “do justice” throughout their lives.

Earlier this month, the United Nations (UN) called for justice and spoke out against armed soldiers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo — a country known as the rape capital of the world. Civilians of the Congo routinely are raped as a weapon of war.

The UN issued a report condemning a specific event last year in which 387 people were systematically raped in a span of just four days.

The victims were from the Walikale territory: 300 women, 23 men, 55 girls and 9 boys.

Incidents of rape have increased in recent years along with the rise in violence. An estimated 9,000 people were raped in 2009 amidst fighting between the Congolese government and Rwandan military allies on one side, and Rwandan militia groups on the other. But these attacks in Walikale stood out to the UN because they were so highly organized and on such a massive scale.
“Due to the fact that these attacks were well-planned in advance and carried out in a systematic, targeted manner, [they] could constitute crimes against humanity and war crimes,” the report states.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights condemned the lack of official investigations or legal action to bring the perpetrators to justice, saying that failing to prosecute such crimes would make it harder to stop future events from taking place.

“The government should pursue its efforts to bring perpetrators to justice and ensure that victims and witnesses are protected, given the high risk of reprisals,” she said.

So, we pray for justice and know that one day, God will make everything right and will make all things new. He will wipe every tear from every eye.

Meanwhile, we work with Congolese churches, leaders and families to see restoration come to broken places. Rape victims receive compassionate care and practical support to live healthier lives. Here is the story of one such woman.

To be part of this work in a practical way, please consider joining Poverty 180’s Gender-Based Injustice cause.