from our blog

March 6
Marcy Hersh
When I was in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) last October, every meeting that I held with Congolese government officials sounded surprisingly similar. They were all engaged in a battle to change the long-held image of the country as “the rape capital of the world.” Government officials explained to me that now that the threat of the M23 rebel group was behind them, the country is at relative peace and women can start to experience the dividends of that peace. Conflict-related sexual violence is no longer a problem in the DRC, or so they claimed. Not only is that statement incorrect, but engaging in this type of PR campaign is the last thing that the DRC needs right now.

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In December 2013, conflict ignited in Juba, South Sudan, and soon spread throughout the country. Tens of thousands of civilians fled to United Nations bases for protection. Today, fighting continues, and more than 100,000 South Sudanese are sheltering under the protection of UN peacekeeping forces.

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In September 2013, fighting between the Armed Forces of the Philippines and a Muslim rebel group in the port city of Zamboanga on Mindanao forced 120,000 people - primarily minority Muslims - to flee. More than a year later, tens of thousands remain displaced, living in deplorable conditions.