United Nations: Describing the Democratic
Republic of the Congo (DRC) as the "rape capital of the
world", a senior UN official has asked the Security
Council to make sexual violence against women a top priority.
"From the Trojan war to the nuclear age, rape has existed
in symbiotic relationship with armed conflict," Margot
Wallstrom the Secretary-General`s Special Representative on
Sexual Violence in Conflict said.
"Rule by rape is used by political and military leaders
to achieve political military and economic ends, politically
motivated rape is a disturbing trend witnessed in the wake of
Kenya`s contested elections and more recently in broad
daylight in the streets of Guinea," she told the Council.
More than 8,000 women were raped in the DRC during
fighting between warring factions last year, according to the
UN, Wallstrom underlined that there were several gaps in the
UN response to protect women against sexual violence.
The deficiencies include the lack of adequate information
because of fragmented data, the inability to view sexual
violence through the lenses of peace and security as well as
very little accountability for rape.
"The core of this problem is impunity and it is the rule
rather than the exception," she said, referring to the fact
that 60 per cent of women in DRC had been raped by men in
Wallstrom called for greater accountability, and
leadership at both the political and community level. The UN
official also called for the "Shame" list, which currently
applies to groups employing child soldiers, to also include
groups that engage in a pattern of sexual violence.
"Women have no rights, if those who violate their rights
go unpunished," Wallstrom said, urging the Council to give
sexual violence consistent attention and make prevention a top
"Our aim must be to uphold international law, so that
women even in the war-torn corners of the world can sleep
under the cover of justice," she added.
Also briefing the Council, Rachel Mayanja, the UN Special
Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women, outlined a
set of 26 indicators pertaining to prevention and protection.
In a presidential statement adopted at the end of the
meeting, the Council noted that it would act on the indicators