9 Stories

Congolese Mother Kept 2K Miles From Daughter Set Free

Asylum seeker's next step: to reunite with 7-year-old daughter, taken by ICE 4 months ago

(Newser) - A Congolese mother detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement after attempting to seek asylum in the US, then held 2,000 miles away from her 7-year-old daughter for four months, walked free on Tuesday, per the Washington Post . The ACLU reports her release comes just days after it filed suit... More »

For Congo's Pygmies, Pot Can Be a Life-or-Death Crop

'Because of selling this marijuana, our children can get some food'

(Newser) - In the impoverished Democratic Republic of the Congo, members of the indigenous people commonly referred to as Pygmies have turned to a surprising line of work: dealing pot. As National Geographic reports in an in-depth feature, the marijuana they cultivate illegally in the forest represents one of the few ways... More »

206 Dead in Congo Blasts

Explosions rocked munitions depot in Brazzaville

(Newser) - Blasts rocked the capital of the Republic of Congo this morning after a weapons depot caught fire, officials said, killing at least 206 people and forcing thousands to flee. A morgue in Brazzaville took in 136 bodies this afternoon, as more continued to arrive. A local hospital reported at least... More »

Congo's Rape Victims Go on the March

Women fill the streets with a call to end sexual violence

(Newser) - Congo’s rape survivors “have had enough, enough, enough, enough,” says one activist—and to show it, many of them marched yesterday to protest the country’s rash of sexual violence. Some victims even left hospital beds to join up, singing, “My heart is in pain, why... More »

UN Probes Congo Rapes of 200 Women, Baby Boys

Peacekeeping forces couldn't stop attacks

(Newser) - The United Nations has launched an investigation into reports that close to 200 women and baby boys were gang raped over a series of days by Congolese rebels and Rwandan fighters—just a few miles from a UN outpost. "The secretary-general is outraged by the rape and assault,"... More »

Human Rights Watch: UN Supports Atrocities in Congo

Mission provides logistical support to brutal national army

(Newser) - Women and children beaten to death with clubs, hacked up with machetes—or, if they're "lucky," gang-raped and left alive. Such shocking acts are sadly commonplace in the conflict that has consumed Congo, perpetrated by both Rwandan rebels and their enemies in the Congolese army. The army, however,... More »

Congo's New Horror: Men Raping Men

(Newser) - Hundreds of thousands of women have been sexually assaulted in the ongoing war in eastern Congo, but suddenly, the region is seeing a sharp increase in rapes of men. More than 10% of the victims of sexual violence in the region are male, and victims are often ostracized by their... More »

Amid Congo's Violence, a Gorilla 'Baby Boom'

Population of tame gorillas up 12.5%

(Newser) - The Democratic Republic of Congo has seen unspeakable violence, but one population has managed to thrive: the endangered mountain gorillas in Virunga National Park. The population of gorillas considered tame grew to 81 from 72 over the past year, Bloomberg reports. The gorilla population has boomed even as rangers entrusted... More »

Rapes Shatter Congo Women

27,000 attacks in a single province intended to 'destroy women'

(Newser) - A record number of brutal rapes has devastated the women of war-ravaged Congo. A single province reported 27,000 last year, with some assaults so brutal that victims' reproductive systems will never recover, the New York Times reports. "We don’t know why these rapes are happening, but one... More »

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