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U.N. Peacekeepers Silent as 200 Women are Gang-raped

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Special to the NNPA from GIN –

(GIN) – An American aid worker and Congolese doctor reported this week that nearly 200 women and some young boys were gang-raped by Congolese and Rwandan rebels over four days within miles of a UN peacekeepers' base in an eastern Democratic Republic of Congo mining district.

More than three weeks later, the UN mission has issued no statement about the atrocities and said Monday it still is investigating.

A public-service billboard in Kalenger, Eastern Congo, discourages men from raping women.

"Ubakaji" is the Congolese word for rape. It is borrowed from the language of neighboring Tanzania; Congolese culture itself did not openly speak of rape until very recently.

An estimated 500,000 women and girls have been victims of sexual violence since the Second Congo War began in 1996.

Less than a year ago, Hillary Clinton became the first U.S. secretary of state to visit war-torn regions of the Democratic Republic of Congo—and pledged $17 million to fight the rape epidemic.

"Working together, we will banish sexual violence into the dark past, where it belongs, and help the Congolese people seize the opportunities of a new day," she wrote later in an op-ed.

Ten months later, Africa experts are questioning how the $17 million has been spent.

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