Clinton Challenges Congo to Stop Sexual Violence

By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 11, 2009 6:51 AM CDT
Elizabeth Kabaya, 20, lies in Rutshuru hospital north of Goma, eastern Congo, Nov. 3 2008. More than 200,000 women and girls have been raped in the long-running conflict.   (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Hillary Clinton traveled to war-ravaged eastern Congo today, where the nation's top diplomat demanded an end to the sexual violence that has claimed at least 200,000 victims. Clinton came to Goma aboard a UN plane over the objections of some top aides who were concerned about security and logistics for the visit. She is the first secretary of state to visit the city.

"We have to speak out against the impunity of those in positions of authority who either commit these crimes or condone it," Clinton told a group of university students. She urged the youth of Congo to mount nationwide protests against the "astonishing and horrible" sexual violence. Although fighting has eased since a 2003 peace deal, the army and rebel groups, vying over eastern Congo's vast mineral wealth, are still attacking villages, killing civilians, and committing brutal atrocities.