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British Embassy Kinshasa event highlights importance of ending sexual violence in conflict

Participants from the government, local and international civil society, and the diplomatic corps gathered to say no to warzone rape

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Madame Mugisa Isingoma from the Women's Union for Peace delivering her speech

The British Embassy hosted an event on 11 June 2014 to mark the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict (add link) co-hosted by British Foreign Secretary William Hague and UN HCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie.

Chargée d’Affaires, Emily Maltman, said:

Sexual violence in conflict zones destroys lives and damages communities. It is unacceptable that so many people have suffered. It is time to eradicate this scourge.

The DRC is a priority country for the UK’s Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative. We are honoured by the participation at the Summit of the DRC’s Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister for Gender ,as well as around 100 Congolese participants from a range of backgrounds.

I’m delighted to see so many people here tonight, gathered in a spirit of solidarity to say with one voice, now is the time to end sexual violence in conflict forever, now is the time to act.

Ms Maltman also recognised the crucial and longstanding contribution of Congolese civil society in the fight against sexual violence. Guests heard from Madame Mugisa Isingoma, of ‘l’Union des Femmes pour la Paix et la Promotion Sociale au Congo’, representing local organisations, and watched video messages from the Foreign Secretary William Hague and Special Envoy Angelina Jolie.

Guests from government ministries, local and international civil society and the diplomatic corps saw musician Jacques Tshimankinda’s powerful performance of his anti-sexual violence song, ‘Touche Pas Ma Maman’. The evening was rounded off with a lively set by the Congolese all-women band ‘Basi Na Mizik’, who are working to empower women through art.

Published 12 June 2014