DRC: Women Seek Peace

Friday, December 21, 2012
Central Africa
Congo (Kinshasa)
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
General Women, Peace and Security
Peace Processes

The conflict in the Eastern DR Congo provinces of North and South Kivu between the Kinshasa government and the M23 movement of mostly mutineers has displaced over 900,000 people, mostly women and children. Women Civil Society Organizations operating in the affected region now want both parties engaged in the Kampala peace talks mediated by Uganda's defense minister Dr. Crispus Kiyonga to put pen to paper and sign the comprehensive peace agreement.

The women also observe they have been left out of the peace talks. For Example, the M23 movement delegation has only one female in comparison to the government delegation's three. Activists want more women, who are mostly affected by armed confrontations to take up a more central position in the negotiations as per the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 of 2000.

The mineral rich Eastern DR Congo has at least 42 known armed groups, with the Tutsi majority M23 movement being the most pronounced.

The war has dismantled all social structures in the region. The rebel's lightening take over of the regional capital Goma late last month led to the break out of over 1600 hard core prisoners who it is feared are causing mayhem in the City and its suburbs. The disadvantaged population has now reverted to cannibalism as a form of mob justice.

Eastern DR Congo has been troubled since 1991 with various armed groups causing instability. The Kampala negotiations, forecasted by the chief mediator Dr. Crispus Kiyonga to be protracted are the only hope to achieving sustainable peace in the region.