Justice for Bitondo Nyumba raped in the Democratic Republic of Congo sign now

A Petition to the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

On the 11th of May 2005, 56 year old widow and mother of four Bitondo Nyumba was attacked in her home, in the village of Katungulu, South-Kivu province, by seven FARDC government army soldiers. She was
beaten with sticks and rifle butts across her stomach and genitals, and
was raped by three of the soldiers.

During the rape one of the soldiers forced a piece of wood inside her.
While this was happening, the soldiers looted the family home.
The attacked caused life threatening injuries. After a first operation in a
state hospital at Nundu, doctors reportedly suspended treatment because Bitondo Nyumba's family could not afford to pay.

On the 19th of May the Uvira based non-governmental Arche d'Alliance
and Solidarite des Femmes Activistes pour la defense des droits
Humains (Solidarity Movement of Women Human Rights Activists
SOFAD), arranged for Bitondo Nyumba to be taken to the general
hospital in Ulvira, and paid for her to have a second operation.

In early June when her condition became stable enough, Bitondo Nyumba was transferred to Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, South-Kivu
province, which specialises in the treatment of rape victims.
The hospital is subsidised by international humanitarian funds and medical treatment and medical treatment and reconstructive surgery
are provided free.

Sadly, on the 21st of June Bitondo Nyumba died, due to an infection
because her injuries were not treated properly early on.

To date, no action has been taken by the authorities to bring the
perpetrators to justice.

Tens of Thousands of women and girls have been raped in the course
of the DRC conflict, and yet hardly any of the perpetrators have been
brought to justice for their crimes.

This situation of almost total impunity encourages further rapes. As Bitondo Nyumba's case illustrates, rape survivors also face immense obstacles in seeking medical treatment. Indequately resourced and
often subjected to intimidation, women's NGOs are often the only support available.

We urge the DRC Government to make medical care of rape victims and reconstruction of the DRC's healthcare a priority.

Create a national emergency medical programme to provide the essential care to rape surivivors.

We urge the DRC government to ensure the perpetrators of Bitondo Nyumba's case are brought promptly to justice.

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Tammie VillaBy:
ReligionIn:
Petition target:
Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo

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