Skip to main content

Democratic Republic of the Congo

Volume 447: debated on Friday 16 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions she has had with representatives of the Democratic Republic of the Congo on (a) support for victims of rape, (b) prosecution of rapists and (c) prevention of further rapes. (76826)

The UK frequently raises with the Congolese Government our concerns about wide scale sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). In February, we and international partners formally presented President Kabila with a dossier cataloguing major abuses carried out by Congolese armed forces, including rape and sexual violence. We demanded that the perpetrators be brought to justice. A UK-drafted Resolution on DRC adopted at last year’s United Nations General Assembly made clear that the Congolese Government must act decisively to reduce sexual violence.

We are supporting humanitarian agencies in providing medical assistance to victims of sexual violence, particularly in Eastern DRC. This includes funding the construction of a new wing at a hospital in South Kivu that treats rape victims. We also support the International Committee of the Red Cross’s Gender Based Violence pilot programme. Through our local peace-building programme, we aim to tackle the underlying causes of sexual violence.