Common Cause UK, a platform for Congolese and Francophone African women, has released a statement denouncing international crimes committed in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the wars that are dehumanising local populations.
The statement highlights concerns about the legitimisation of armed violence and the impunity for perpetrators of violence against civilians, including the rape of women. It also calls for action to stop multi-national corporations and armed groups from benefiting from wars, exploitation and crimes, including sexual violence.
"It is time for moral reason and human dignity to prevail over financial profits and injustice to enable restoration of peace, human rights, human development and sustainable environment in the Democratic Republic of Congo."
On Friday 25th November, Common Cause RDC, Common Cause UK, Million Women Rise and Bradford Rape Crisis will hold a vigil outside 10 Downing Street to highlight the issues. They will also be handing in a letter from UK-based organisations that calls for a meeting with the government to address British involvement and discuss ways to prevent international crimes and violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Jayne Butler, CEO of Rape Crisis England & Wales states:
"We stand in solidarity with Congolese women and strongly condemn the ongoing violence committed in the Democratic Republic of Congo. For too long the international community has ignored or enabled the armed conflicts happening across the Democratic Republic of Congo, and civilians are paying the price. We know that Congolese women and girls are subjected to sexual violence without recourse to justice; this is unacceptable. We urge the UK government to meet with Common Cause UK to discuss what urgent action can be taken."