Flanders releases funds to help rape victims in Congo
Armed gangs in Congo have been raping, mutilating and torturing thousands of girls and women aged between three and 80.16 June 2008
BELGIUM - The Flemish Government is releasing EUR 300,000 for the international operations of the Flemish Red Cross, says Flemish International Development Minister Geert Bourgeois.
The money will be used to help protect the victims of sexual violence in Congo.
Congo recently hit the headlines after armed gangs unleashed a wave of sexual violence against women in the east of the country. Thousands of girls and women aged between three and 80 years have been raped, mutilated and tortured.
Some women have been kidnapped to become sex slaves. Gang rapes often took place in front of the victims' family.
The Red Cross is active in both North and South Kivu provinces and in refugee camps around the eastern city of Goma. It offers the victims medical, psychological and economic assistance.
Red Cross workers also try to convince local people not to exclude the victims of sexual violence.
The organisation has taken up the plight of these women with the authorities and the armed gangs that perpetrate the violence.
[flandersnews.be / Expatica]