Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2010-09-22-Speech-3-324"

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"Mr President, rape has become a daily weapon of war in the eastern DRC, with thousands of victims every year. The actual number is far higher than we know, because the women are unable to assert their rights and therefore often do not report what has happened. Rape is a seriously traumatising crime which results in deep psychological and often physical harm. If rapes remain unpunished, they become a permanent fixture in a violent daily life in society, even in post-war times. The mass rapes that took place between 30 July and 4 August 2010 in North Kivu demonstrate that the developments in the DRC are too low on the international community’s agenda. However, these crimes cannot be allowed to remain unpunished. We owe that to the victims and also to the future of the DRC as a whole. The Congolese Government needs to make every effort to bring the perpetrators to justice, and a certain amount of doubt would not be misplaced. Impunity must not be allowed to become the norm, however. This drama also makes it painfully clear that the relationship between the UN mission and the local population leaves a lot to be desired. It is essential that the presence of MONUSCO in the region be evaluated. It has remained passive in this drama. An independent enquiry is now called for to investigate the facts surrounding these mass rapes. The presence of the mission is and remains necessary, but it is essential that MONUSCO carry out its full mandate and offer the local population the protection it so desperately needs."@en1

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