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Angelina Jolie visits rape victims in Congo & Rwanda:

The actress teams up with British Foreign Secretary, William Hague, to raise awareness of rape in conflict zones.
By Motherpedia
Date: March 27 2013
Editor Rating:

It’s not Angelina Jolie’s usual travel companion, but she and the British Foreign Secretary, William Hague, made a trip to Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo in central Africa to help raise international awareness of rape in conflict zones.

Jolie, who is an ambassador for the UN High Commission for Refugees, and Hague started working together on the issue last year with the launch of a Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative.

Ms Jolie and Mr Hague visited the Nzulo camp near Goma where they met with some of the 10,000 sex attack victims housed there, as well as the staff helping to rehabilitate them. They have also been meeting with local political leaders asking them to help eradicate sexual violence in conflicts. Sexual violence is frequently used as a weapon of war by rebel groups that operate in eastern Congo, as well as by Congolese soldiers.

"What we're here to do is try to scale it up and make this a world wide focus and it's due time. It's been going on every war, every crisis and it's often an afterthought and it's due time to end this and put an end to impunity and they deserve it," Jolie said.

Mr Hague said that he planned to raise the problem at the annual G8 meeting of foreign ministers in London in April.

"Sexual violence in conflict has to be resolved if conflicts are to be resolved because when rape is used as a weapon of war, it makes communities harder, to bring together and much harder for people to get on with their lives afterwards," Mr Hague said.

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) says it's provided care to more than 2,500 women and girls who have been raped or abused over the last year alone.

The IRC is handing out kits with flashlights and whistles, as well as cleaning products so that women can avoid bathing at creeks where the risk of assault is higher.

The IRC was established in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein and responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises.

* * *

You can make a donation to the IRC here.

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