Really, this month has been so hard for Congolese women in the area of Beni in North Kivu. Almost one hundred killed in the last week. That brings the official tally to around 1150 in the last 2 years. When you look at the pictures, you see mostly women. That’s because the women won’t run off and leave their children. And those that are not butchered are brutally raped. 100% of the women are affected.
Mine is among many women’s voices coming out of Congo, continually pleading for a male conscience toward women. This is so shameful. It's outrageous. The lack of response sends a signal to those of us spending all of our energy sounding the alarm on women’s behalf, that we are considered no different than a child who is always crying. She can have a problem or not – people will only spend enough breath to complain that “she is always crying.”
DRC has the largest U.N. presence in the world, but no matter. The attack on August 13th killed at least 45, including children. This happened on the anniversary of a massacre in a U.N. refugee camp in 2004, that saw 166 massacred and another 106 wounded. The mastermind of the massacre went on the radio the next day, taking credit for his group's evil deed, but still has not been brought to justice.
We can’t be silent when the butchery continues. We can’t remain quiet. But how can the international community remain quiet? Pope Francis said it is a “shameful silence”. “Unfortunately” he said, “they are part of the too many innocent people who have no weight on world opinion."
Right now, really I can't breathe. I am out of words. Only tears remain.