What is Within Us All: 240 Women, including a newborn, Raped in Congo

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240 women raped. In front of their husbands and family. This is as evil as we get.

Congolese community leaders say they begged local U.N. officials and army commanders to protect villagers days before rebels gang-raped scores of people, from a month-old baby boy to a 110-year-old great-great-grandmother.

This shocking yet unsurprising event in the Congo is yet another piece of evidence that Humans, by default, contain an unchecked potential to commit  the most wicked of acts. We will always have it within us, no matter how much one is educated or enlightened.

Drop the strong barriers of control, and we are animals, animals with a streak for doing unto others–in spectacular fashion–things designed to destroy souls. If there is a God and a Devil, we are the only species with the Devil within us. And its strong, always there, waiting for the moment–such as a war-torn, chaotic nation like the DRC–to emerge in its full form.

Ultimately, the only manner in which to control this evil(there is no other word for what this is), there must be strict measures of control. The UN’s purpose in the Congo is precisely to prevent what happened, and it appears they peacekeeping force was positioned to do so:

The peacekeepers say they were not told about the attacks until 10 days later, even though they have a base 20 miles (30km) away.

Similarly, from the AP:

The U.N. says it passed through Luvungi but villagers did not say anything about the rebels.

The rationalization is that the villagers didn’t report the rapes because they feared reprisal or shame. And that is reasonable. But the U.N. could and perhaps should have simply asked the villagers if everything was okay, especially given that Congo is the “Rape capital of the world” according to a U.N. Envoy. This delay in discovering the rapes is apart from allegations that the U.N. knew in advance of the impending rebel arrival:

Masudi said that on July 29, acting on information from motorcycle taxis, he warned the U.N. Civil Affairs bureau in Walikale, the army and the local administration that rebels were moving in on Luvungi. “Again we begged them to secure the population of Luvungi and told them that these people were in danger,” he said. Freddy Zanga, secretary of the association Masudi leads, confirmed his account.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has declared his outrage and sent a special envoy to investigate the incident, which is the correct course of action to take. But it is too late; the stain of horror, of outrage, of shame, of abject dejectedness, will forever remain in the fabric of our race, Humans.

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