Clinton Pushes Congo on Atrocities Against Women
By VOA News
11 August 2009
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is demanding an end to the widespread rapes and attacks on women in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
Clinton spoke to reporters Tuesday after meeting with Congolese President Joseph Kabila in Goma, the capital of Congo's volatile North Kivu province.
She said there should be "no impunity" for the sexual and gender-based violence in the region, and called for arrests, prosecutions, and punishments.
The United Nations has recorded at least 200,000 cases of sexual violence against women in the region since 1996.
The U.N. says that militias and army troops deployed to subdue them are both responsible for the attacks.
Earlier Tuesday, Clinton met with rape victims at a camp that houses about 18,000 displaced Congolese.
She is scheduled to fly back to Congo's capital, Kinshasa, before heading to Nigeria later in the day.
During a speech to university students in Kinshasa Monday, Clinton called the violence in Kivu "one of mankind's greatest atrocities." She also urged students to speak out against sexual violence and corruption in Congo.
The secretary of state is in the middle of a seven-nation Africa tour designed to promote democracy and development, and strengthen U.S. ties to the continent.
After Congo and Nigeria, she makes stops in Liberia and Cape Verde before returning to Washington later this week.
Earlier stops on the trip were Kenya, South Africa, and Angola.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.
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