Clinton Calls For Prosecution Of Congolese Rapists, Announces $17M Aid Package

“Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Tuesday called for the prosecution of Congolese soldiers and militiamen involved in a staggering epidemic of rape in eastern Congo and said the world must take stronger action to end the suffering brought on by a military operation that began in January,” the Washington Post reports (Sheridan/McCrummen, 8/12).

After a “harrowing meeting with victims of violent gang rapes in a crowded refugee camp on the outskirts of Goma,” Clinton announced a new aid package of $17 million to respond to the rape epidemic, according to the Associated Press/Denver Post (Lee, 8/12). The money will be used to train medical staff, “supply rape victims with video cameras to document violence, send American military engineers to help build facilities and train Congolese police officers, especially female police officers, to crack down on rapists,” writes the New York Times.

At the conclusion of a meeting with the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s president, Joseph Kabila, Clinton said, “This problem is too big for one country to solve alone.” She said, “I spoke at length with President Kabila about the steps needed to be taken to protect civilians,” adding, “We believe there should be no impunity for the sexual and gender based violence, and there must be arrests and punishment because that runs counter to peace” (Gettlemen, 8/12).

Clinton Arrives In Nigeria, Expected To Discuss Good Governance

On Tuesday, Clinton arrived in Abuja, Nigeria, as part of her seven nation tour of African countries, This Day reports (8/12). According to VOA News, Clinton will meet with “President Umaru Yar’Adua Wednesday on the fifth stop of her Africa trip. Clinton is expected to discuss good governance and corruption in Nigeria” (Stearns, 8/12).

During the trip to Nigeria, Johnnie Carson, assistant secretary of state for African affairs, told reporters, “Nigeria is undoubtedly the most important country in sub-Saharan Africa,” Reuters reports (Pleming 8/12). According to Agence France-Presse, Clinton will hold a roundtable discussion with religious leaders. “A senior U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that Clinton would listen to the religious leaders but that her main message would be on good governance and electoral reform” (Tandon, 8/12).

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