Eastern Congo

How We Can All Help Women in the Congo

Mar 17, 2010
Mariska Hargitay and John Prendergast

 The epidemic of rape and sexual violence in the Congo takes center stage in an all-new episode of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, airing on Wednesday night.

Portraying the world's worst violence against women -- taking place half a world away in Central Africa -- in a TV show set in New York City is a challenge. But Law and Order: SVU creator Neal Baer and writer Dawn DeNoon have managed to convey the facts on the ground in Congo through the eyes of a Congolese woman portrayed in the episode.

Eastern Congo is the world's deadliest conflict globally since WWII. Widespread rape is used as a strategy of war and an instrument of communal terror, making this region the world's most dangerous place to be a woman or a girl. Armed groups compete to control lucrative mines and smuggling routes. Rape becomes their principal means of terrorizing local populations into passive compliance, so they can steal the mineral wealth without opposition. These crimes destroy families, decimate communities, and lethally spread HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.

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"Meet Me on the Bridge"

All over the world, women and men commemorated International Women's Day by gathering on bridges to send the message that we must join together and work collectively to end global violence against women.

A large, energetic crowd turned out on March 8, for Washington, D.C.'s Join Me on the Bridge event. All over the world, women and men commemorated International Women's Day by gathering on bridges to send the message that we must join together and work collectively to end global violence against women. Below is an audio slideshow narrated by Candice Knezevic, RAISE Hope for Congo Campaign Manager, about the Join Me on the Bridge event and other events that were held around the world.


Photos by Enough Project and Women for Women International

Click here to read the full transcript.

Conflict Minerals Making News

Gold in eastern Congo - S. Lezhnev

Conflict minerals are steadily gaining prominence in the public debate over how to address the conflict in eastern Congo, paving the way for meaningful advocacy directed at the companies that benefit from Congo’s turmoil. An article in the Boston Globe and the latest U.S. human rights report on Congo are two examples.  Read More »

Congo Spotlighted in This Week’s Law & Order SVU

This week’s all-new episode of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit once again takes on an issue we at Enough are passionate about: ending the epidemic of violence against women in eastern Congo.  Read More »

LRA in Darfur? Regional Actors React

LRA leader Joseph Kony

The news that Enough broke yesterday of a contingent of the Lord Resistance Army moving into Darfur generated considerable interest from a variety of regional actors. Some of the reactions, while predictable, were interesting for simply being over the top.  Read More »

Field Dispatch: The Arrow Boys of Southern Sudan

During our recent trip through southern Sudan, Enough’s South Sudan researcher Maggie Fick and I were intrigued by a relatively new actor in the fight against the Lord’s Resistance Army near Sudan’s border with Congo and the Central African Republic – a local defense force known as the Arrow Boys. Here's our new Field Dispatch about the group.  Read More »

Senate Passes LRA Bill, As LRA Finds Safe Haven in Sudan

The Senate bill aimed at devising a strategy for stopping the brutal, 24-year insurgency by Lord’s Resistance Army passed last night with a record 65 co-sponsors. But even as Enough, along with advocacy partners Resolve Uganda and Invisible Children, celebrate this progress in Congress, new alarming reports have emerged that a dangerous contingent of the LRA has made its way to Darfur.  Read More »

North Kivu: An Update from the “Great North”

North Kivu province is split into two administrative regions. The Petit Nord in the south and the Grand Nord in the north. Most of the violence that you read about in North Kivu happens in the Petit Nord, where the poorly integrated Congolese army, the FDLR, and other militias prey upon civilians. I traveled recently to Grand Nord to better understand the security situation there and the threats facing civilians.  Read More »

Anti-LRA Activists Celebrate as Senator Lifts Hold on Bill

After 262 hours protesting on the streets of Oklahoma City, activists focused on ending the senseless violence perpetrated by the Lord’s Resistance Army claimed a victory yesterday when Senator Coburn (R-OK) signaled he would remove his hold on a popular, bipartisan bill.  Read More »

A Warlord-Turned-Colonel and the Deplorable Status Quo in Congo

The United Nations Mission in the Congo, known by its French acronym MONUC, is once again facing public criticism. An article in today’s Washington Post shows how MONUC’s support for the Congolese army’s operations against rebel groups in eastern Congo continues to support some of the army’s most abusive commanders.  Read More »

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