Democratic Republic of Congo is one of the most volatile regions in the world. Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has witnessed one of the most unstable political leadership in the entire Africa. The successive governments have failed to take full control of the country since the departure of the colonial masters.
Coup de tarts have been the mode of changing governance and in many occasions, bloodshed has accompanied this trend. Before ascending to power, Laurent Kabila, the father to the current president of the country Joseph Kabila was a rebel. Through his military tactics, he managed to ascend to presidency. However, he could not take full control of the country because his collogues still remained in the bush as rebels.
When he passed on, the son took over governmental power and authority. He has tried putting the country under the control of government with minimal success. The rebels are either too smart to be outmatched or the government lacks the political goodwill to eliminate this group due to some controversial political reasons. The real reason for this is yet to be clear not only to the nationals of this country, but also to the entire world society.
The Security Dilemmas
The security situation in this country is jeopardized by the presence of rebels in the larger Congo forest and other regions, especially near its border with Rwanda. The government has attempted to eliminate this group but with negative results. In various occasions, the rebels have successfully managed to repulse government forces back to the capital city, Kinshasa. The rebels have taken control of a good portion of the country and they run it with iron fist.
Those who live in such regions have no option but to stay and withstand the cruelty of this group. This instability has put three main groups at danger. The first group at danger is the government. The government troops are killed almost on daily basis. It is not easy for military officers to identify the rebels but the rebels can identify the officers.
Applying the gorilla war tactics, they are able to ambush the officers when they least expect, with tragic results. Bergen reports that the government of Democratic Republic of Congo has lost about 100,000 military officers since the current president His Excellency Joseph Kabila took over power (34). This is a blow to the government as it loses trained and experienced officers.
It will cost more for the government to recruit and train new officers. Moreover, the government is not settled. Instead of thinking on how to develop the country, the government is preoccupied with fear of a possible coup de tart. There is a constant fear of a possible attack by the rebels who are keen to take over power from the current government.
The rebels are also at risk. They are always the target of any military operation. The Congo forest has seen heavy fire exchanges between the military officers and the militants. Government forces are well equipped than the rebels.
They can easily track the rebels and in many occasions suppress them. This has seen many rebels killed in such fights. Because of their limited number, death of their militants is always a serious blow to their operational activities. This is the reason why they are at times forced to recruit under-age boys to join their forces.
Although the fight is between the rebels and the government, the civilians are the worst hit. They are forced to stop economic activities during such wars. They are always under attack from both the government and the military forces. Although there are many ways in which aggression towards civilians is manifested, one major way used by the two aggressors is raping of civilians.
Rape as a Tool of War in Democratic Republic Of Congo
Denov defines rape as the application of force in whichever form to have sexual intercourse with another individual against his or her consent (36). Rape is one of the worst violations of a person’s body. It takes away the self-esteem of an individual and leaves him or her with a feeling of emptiness.
The militants and the government forces have abused women sexually, especially those around the Congo forest. When the military comes to this region, they blame the locals of hiding the militants. They use all forms of torture to ensure that they get information from the locals. As they use batons and at times bullets on men, women are always subjected to serious rape cases.
On the other hand, the militants attack these women at will when they least expect. Because they rarely have families, they use women around this region to satisfy their sexual desires. It may even be in the form of gang rape. This has left a number of them lame. Others are left with sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV. Denov reports that most of the HIV infection in this region is entirely caused by cases of rape (65).
This form of punishment is very hash because the victim is always left with a permanent scar, either in form of an infection, unwanted pregnancies or a permanent disorder. Although attempts have been made by the government to address the issue after the international society raised alarm on this issue, change is yet to be witnessed. The region remains unsafe for women and young girls.
Bergen, Raquel. Wife rape: understanding the response of survivors and service providers. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, 1996. Print
Denov, Myriam. Perspectives on female sex offending: a culture of denial. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2004. Print.