Friday, September 3, 2010


UGANDA ( - The number of rape victims from a four-day rebel attack in eastern Congo a month ago has risen to more than 240 and will likely go higher, aid officials said Thursday. Some 240 women, girls and babies may have been raped after rebels recently seized a town in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the UN says. Giorgio Trombatore, a director of the aid group International Medical Corps, said investigators working in eastern Congo’s North Kivu Province had so far “counted 242 cases individually, one by one.” On July 30, hundreds of members of Rwandan and Congolese rebel groups occupied villages in the Walikale region of North Kivu, assaulting their victims in groups of two to six. Countering reports from the area that some victims were male infants, Mr. Trombatore said that all were female and that the youngest was 16 years old and the oldest 75.
Thousands of women, and hundreds of men, have been sexually assaulted by the various armed groups warring in eastern Congo.

Officials with the aid group have said that the rebels - members of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda and the Mai Mai - left the villages on Aug. 3, and that later that day a local administrator alerted aid organizations in the area to the mass rapes. Rebels from the same groups were suspected of attacking workers with the International Medical Corps on Wednesday after the workers landed by helicopter in Walikale, forcing the aid workers to escape into the surrounding forest. Mr. Trombatore said Thursday that all the aid workers had been rescued and were safe. United Nations officials have said the peacekeepers did not know about the rapes until Aug. 12.

International Medical Corps, informed about the attacks' full scale of women who had been taken away, kidnapped, taken into the forest and raped there. Many of the incidents involved multiple perpetrators. Very few cases are reported because there is a risk that victims are stigmatized by their families and abandoned by their husbands.

As long as he is in the grip of the modes of passion and ignorance, a man will yearn to associate with women, eat meat, and drink liquor. He does not wait to hear the Vedas command him before he does these things. The purpose of the Vedas is this: As long as a man is not situated in the mode of goodness, a man will not be able to renounce killing animals, drinking liquor, and yearning for the touch of a woman. It is to curb these propensities that the scriptures prescribe association with a woman in marriage, killing animals in sacrifice, and drinking liquor at certain ceremonies. In these ways a man’s indulgence in these things is curtailed, and at the end he becomes able to renounce them completely. That is the purpose of the Vedas. ... However, men in the mode of goodness should not perform such activities. To be violent to others is the way of the animals.

Śrīla Saccidananda Bhaktivinoda Thākura :
“Jaiva-dharma” (“The Universal Religion”)
Chapter Ten: “Nitya-dharma O Itihasa”
“Eternal Religion and History”
Bhaktivedanta Memorial Library

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