CONFERENCE: Congolese Women Demand Discussions on the "Intervention Brigade" in the DRC

Global Network for Women's Peacebuilders
Tuesday, April 16, 2013 - 20:00
Central Africa
Congo (Kinshasa)
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
Sexual and Gender-Based Violence
Initiative Type: 
Conferences & Meetings

Congolese women and women from Burundi, Liberia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Uganda who took part in the Women's Peace Dialogue held in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo April 5-6, 2012 demanded discussions on the formation of the first Intervention Brigade that will operate in the eastern part of the DRC. Authorized under UN Security Council Resolution 2098, which was adopted on March 28, 2013, the Intervention Brigade will operate under orders to "neutralize" and "disarm" armed groups in the resource-rich eastern part of the country.

In the Kinshasa Call to Action, the outcome document of the Women's Peace Dialogue, the 81 participants of the dialogue called on MONUSCO and relevant UN entities to ensure that the Intervention Brigade does not violate the rights of civilian populations especially women. Below are the other demands that the women have put forward:

  1. Facilitate discussions with women's groups to ensure that their perspectives on UNSCR 2098 are taken into account in its implementation;
  2. Ensure that all peace keeping forces, including the Intervention Brigade, adhere to the principles of zero tolerance on sexual exploitation and abuse in the execution of their mandates;
  3. Incorporate women's concerns in the future execution of the Intervention Brigade's mandate; and
  4. Provide gender sensitization training to security forces, national militaries, and the police.

The Women's Peace Dialogue participants also expressed concern that the Intervention Brigade might in fact contribute to the escalation of fighting in the areas where they will operate and the risk of women and girls being targeted as a form of retaliation.

The Women's Peace Dialogue participants also urged MONUSCO to continue to effectively monitor and report on the human rights situation and support national and international efforts to protect, promote and fulfill the human rights of the Congolese people. Additionally, they called on MONUSCO, UN Women and the relevant UN entities to support the Women's Peace Delegation's upcoming advocacy efforts including dialogues with local leaders and insurgent groups in eastern DRC."

Following the Women's Peace Dialogue, the participants met with the Minister of Gender, Minister of Justice, the leaders of the inter-faith Congolese congregations and various officials from MONUSCO, UNDP, UN Women to present their demands aimed at putting an end to the violence in the DRC, particularly sexual violence. In all of these meetings, the women emphasized the need to address the root causes of the conflict in DRC and in the Great Lakes region.

For full final outcome document please click here.

For previous blogs on the Women's Peace Dialogue click here!

The Women's Peace Dialogue was facilitated by the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders and the Cadre Permanent de Concertation de la Femme Congolese (CAFCO) in partnership with WILPF-DRC, Réseau Femme et Développement and the African Women's Active Nonviolence Initiatives for Social Change (AWANICh)-DRC.

Document PDF: 

Final Outcome Document_Women's Peace Dialogue April 2013