"Africa is, indeed, coming into fashion." - Horace Walpole (1774)


what to think

This is the sort of public awareness campaign you have to do when rape becomes normal.

These billboards are all over Goma now. These and another one that features men going after a school girl. Painted on the compound walls, everywhere in the city, where it's hard to miss the message.

It's very disconcerting.

My copy of Lumo arrived in the mail this week. I'm not sure what I'll do with it. It's not the sort of movie you invite friends over to watch on a Friday night. But it seemed important to have a copy around.

One of Lumo's friends, a woman whose name I think is Angela, is on the front cover of the DVD case.

I know her. She used to ask me for money almost every day. I used to wonder what she did to get money when I didn't give her any.

Given the dramatic increase in violence in North Kivu these last few weeks, there's no question that hundreds, maybe thousands more women and girls are being attacked by the various armed forces operating near their homes.

It's just hard to know what to think.


Blogger William Deed said...

You get so used to seeing these pictures in Goma and also in surrounding villages, and yet seeing it while sat in my living room in England shocks me again like the first time. I don't know what that means, it just is.

I fly out this Friday, but it no longer looks like I'll be making it as far as North Kivu. For now.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007 5:13:00 PM

Blogger texasinafrica said...

William, I know exactly what you mean. Bon voyage and be safe.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007 9:50:00 PM

Blogger Michael Westmoreland-White said...

I was listening to the BBC World News last night and the WHO was estimating 20,000 rapes in one province in the DRC in one month. But "Women to Women" put the number at closer to 100,000!

That systematic raping of women and girls as a form of terrorizing a population, although a part of war for centuries, is horrifying. I have never heard of such a widespread use of sexual violence, though--it would seem to be an obstacle to fighting the war itself.

It's just horrible.

Thursday, October 11, 2007 2:30:00 PM


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