The Most Rev Fidele Dirokpa, Archbishop of the Congo, Bishop of Kinshasa, is challenged on many fronts:
"Scotland's leading aid and development agency today highlights "the worst crisis of violence against women" in the Democratic Republic of Congo, concluding up to 45 women are being raped every day in one province.
The Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund (SCIAF) is putting pressure on the UK Government to help end the violence. According to its report, some 45 women a day are being raped in South Kivu, a province in the east of the DRC with just one-third of the population of Scotland.
It comes as diplomats from the UN, African Union, EU and US made a rare joint appeal to stop fighting in the area.
The report will be launched tomorrow alongside a campaign calling for Britain to help bring a successful conclusion to the peace process and ensure suitable and sufficient medical care is provided in the region for the thousands of victims.
The Herald Magazine tomorrow will feature the first newspaper report describing the fate of the women in the region and offer readers the opportunity to have their say. Members of the public will be invited to add their names to a campaign to put pressure on the government to do more.
The report has been sent to Douglas Alexander, Secretary of State for International Development, and David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, to highlight the gravity of the problem.
It focuses on South Kivu, a wartorn area bordering Rwanda, where rape is now endemic.
Earlier this year a report from Yakin Erturk, UN special rapporteur on violence against women, described the situation in the province as "the worst crisis against women I have so far encountered".
John Holmes, the UN's emergency relief co-ordinator, said sexual violence in the Congo was "the worst in the world" and that the levels of brutality against women are "almost unimaginable".
The SCIAF report, compiled by Abi Dymond based on her research in the DRC last month, reveals the sexual violence is not abating. In the first three months of this year, 4066 rape cases were reported in South Kivu.
The report states: "These figures are only the tip of the iceberg, as many women never report attacks. The real figure is undoubtedly much higher; in the Shabunda area of South Kivu it is estimated that 70% of the female population have been raped.
"Women's groups argue that sexual violence in the DRC is being used as a military tactic and the UN Security Council has classified it as a tactic of war. Sexual violence is a highly effective way for illegal armed groups to humiliate, oppress and destroy communities."
Rape has become commonplace in the east of the DRC following two major conflicts in the country that have killed an estimated 5.4 million people.
Ms Dymond said: "SCIAF's report and new campaign show the staggering rate and barbarity of sexual violence in the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Women, subject to rape in their thousands, are the silent victims of this conflict.
"When you hear the personal stories of the women whose lives have been affected, it is utterly heartbreaking. You cannot listen to these first-hand accounts and not be moved to action.
"We are calling on everyone in Scotland to sign campaign postcards, which will be sent to the Secretary of State for International Development Douglas Alexander."
Mr Alexander said: "The UK Government continues to press the government of DRC to show leadership in bringing the perpetrators of these despicable crimes to justice. We are also helping 23,000 victims of sexual violence, some as young as four years old.
"DFID is supporting health facilities, training medical staff and working to strengthen the justice system."
The report asks the government to provide increased funding to help survivors of sexual violence; increase medical provision in rural areas and expand psycho-social services; provide funding to increase the number of survivors who receive legal assistance; help establish a compensation fund and other justice reforms; help survivors with community reintegration; and encourage the DRC Government to spend 2-6% of the national budget on the justice system and 15% on the health care sector.
MEANWHILE on another another abusive/deadly and demoralizing Anglican Church of The Congo front: The Rt. Rev. Sylvestre Bahati Bali-Busane, Bishop of the Diocese of Bakavu in the Congo, said that the Rt. Rev. Gene Robinson, the gay Bishop of New Hampshire, is "causing pain in the church."
Through an interpreter, Bishop Bahati said, "In my opinion, so many bishops are not here because of Gene Robinson. It would have been good to be forthright and also for Gene Robinson to resign. Most bishops are not happy with him continuing to be bishop in a church and he should have stepped down. That is my own opinion."
Apparently Bishop Bahati doesn't realize that by encouraging in partnership with the other Anglican Church Provinces in the WORLDWIDE Anglican Communion he can "promote and sustain schemes for peace and reconciliation, health, education and community development for the welfare and benefit of the population."
ALL of the population?
CONGO CHURCH ASSOCIATION
PRIORITIES: Objects of the Association
To advance the Christian Religion in the Democratic Republic of the Congo In partnership with the Anglican Church in the Democratic Republic of Congo to relieve poverty and to provide for the needs of refugees and the displaced.
In partnership with the Anglican Church in the DRC and civil society there to promote and sustain schemes for peace and reconciliation, health, education and community development for the welfare and benefit of the population.
To relieve poverty among the clergy and former clergy of the Anglican Church and the widows and dependants of any such persons.
General Otto Perez Molina, ¨Mano Dura¨ TODAY IS ANOTHER BEAUTIFUL DAY IN GUATEMALA (which is a very beautiful country) AND IT´S ALSO THE ...
IT GETS BETTER--Archbishop Desmond Tutu supports LGBT full acceptance and inclusion too!
¨Churches say that the expression of love in a heterosexual monogamous relationship includes the physical, the touching, embracing, kissing, the genital act - the totality of our love makes each of us grow to become increasingly godlike and compassionate. If this is so for the heterosexual, what earthly reason have we to say that it is not the case with the homosexual?¨ Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu
The No Anglican Covenant Coalition -- COMPREHENSIVE UNITY
A VERY UN-ANGLICAN COVENANT (click on logo)
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