The intensity of the fighting between the Congolese army and the militiaman of the Alliance des Patriotes pour un Congo Libre et Souverain (APCLS), that is collaborating with the militiaman Nyatura since 2006, has caused a harmful impact on women and girls from the territory of Masis, Nord Kivu. Those misdoings include rape and sexual violence as well as displacements far away from their villages and fields.
As part of the l’Association des Femmes des Medias du Sud-Kivu’s (AFEM/SK) mission report, between 10 to 13 March 2014, we met with 23 of these raped women in the IDP camp Kilimani. One of them agreed to talk on record:
My body, a battlefield
“On this particular day, I was heading towards the fields. Along the way, I passed by six armed men in military uniforms. They asked me to follow them. Suddenly they stopped and one after the other started to rape me with such brutality that I lost consciousness.
It was only at the hospital that I found out that a man had picked me up and brought me there. After care, I was not able to go back to my village as the fighting had not stopped and the place was emptied of its residents that had fled the fighting. That’s how I came to the IDP camp Kilimani.”
Abandoned to my fate
“ I have six children but I was no longer able to meet their needs because after the rape, I did not feel able to do anything. I was afraid at any time. I was no longer able to go into the fields to look for food for my children, as I was too scared to meet my violators again. Given the situation, all my six children left to Goma, Nord Kivu, to stay with family members. After they left, their father abandoned me too. For him, I was no longer of any worth. Every time we had a fight, he kept telling me how I myself was responsible for being raped. Abandoned to my fate, I constantly worry about the future of my six children. Without help they may not become anything!”
Until the situation changes, the displaced have no chance to return to their villages in the Masisi territory and continue to live in camp Kilimali without any emotional support.
Our witnesses’ only hope is to, one day, return to her village Nyabyondo, cultivate her fields and regain joy in living the life of a peasant. And maybe one day she can see her six children again who by then will be wandering and plod in the city of Goma. If this dream have can come true, God only knows.