Featured Documentary: THE GREATEST SILENCE: RAPE IN THE CONGO by Emmy Award®-winning director Lisa F. Jackson

The following is the back-story regarding the documentary, “The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo” which can be viewed on Women For Action TV.

"And, so, what is woman? The woman is the mother of nation. He who rapes a woman, rapes an entire nation. When a woman is exposed to that kind of violence, it's the entire country that is affected by it"-The Greatest Silence Documentary
I believe that if you truly want to eviscerate a country, then rape her of resources and assault her women. Rape is foolproof in killing the spirit of not only of women and girls, but of a nation. Women are surely a valuable resource to their villages. Communities and families rely on them.  Without the support of a wife, mother or sister, families lose their structure. WOMAN is the cornerstone of family. She feeds, aids, sustains and elevates, raises the children and tend to the elderly. When the man is unable, the woman is forced to provide if she can. She gives birth to a new generation; her offspring will lead the future. She nurtures these young leaders into the young women and men they are to become. Without securing women, the nation cannot prevail or advance. It soon withers, then perishes.
In a society that reduces women to the value no more than a mule, one cannot see his a## from its nose. Because it persists to live chin-up in its own sh$$!  It destroys what gives it life and find reason within gratifying the genitalia. One wouldn’t understand that it is in fact inflicting harm on itself, aligning its forces with its opposition. This country might as well assign itself to a noose.

The very soldiers designed to protect and safeguard the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC-Formerly Zaire) are indeed exploiting and extorting local villagers. They seem to justify their vile acts as payment for their "services”. One should ask, “a service to whom”? For the villagers cannot seem to distinguish their protectors from their enemies. 

Their alleged protectors shake the men down for money and rape women for mere appetite.  Many of these purported protectors of Congo claim that they reside too long in the bush (rural land, wilderness areas), a place where they remain throughout the duration of the war. These men feel that the women owe them sexual favors; it is a patriotic duty. If the women of Congo refuse such services, these protectors are obliged to take them by force. Women are considered property, justifiable by man’s decree. When a woman is raped, she loses s sense of self worth and entire sense of being. She's been deprived of her humanity, husband and family. A world she once knew is no longer familiar - it doe snot exist. Yet she is left with a memento -- new life-- innocence . 

Yet the opposing forces are far more sinister. It is indeed a real war of terror. Some may sanction the opposing army of the DRC as descendents of the devil. Women and girls crawl away with disease and grave injuries. Some women are stabbed in the uterus by stick or weapon.  Some contract HIV from these rapes. Even more abominable, their genitalia or rectum are burned away. Many women die. Those that make it are clinging on to their lives, and cognizant of such bestial torture.  Life beyond these grotesque acts of evil is desolate. Families and husbands abandon them. They are engulfed with shame because they succumb to the belief that somehow they elicited their fates. A woman pays such a high price in Congo. Its merit is based on gender, in cahoots supremacy and oppression.

Some will claim that Congo’s conflict is the product of its assets. It is one of most mineral rich countries in the world, producing more than a billion dollars of gold alone each year. Conflict minerals (minerals or its derivatives determined by the Secretary of State to be financing conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo or an adjoining country.) such as gold, cassiterite (tin), wolframite and coltan makes Congo’s reserves important to the world market. Cell phones, computers, home appliances and other electronic goods are super reliant on these minerals. 

Congo contains roughly a third of the world's cassiterite ore reserves ... by the 1940s, Congo was the world's 2nd largest producer. 

It’s prized mineral coltan has  become one of the world’s most sought-after materials because it is used to create tantalum, a key ingredient in electronic circuitry. The global tantalum capacitor market is worth about $2-billion (U.S.) annually. Sixty to Eighty percent of the world’s coltan is in Congo. 

Though coltan, gold and cassiterite is ranked the most sought after resources within Congo, it also contains copper, cobalt, diamonds, manganese, uranium and iron. The country is being robbed of its resources at approximately millions of dollars a day. The link between Western nations such as the United States and Congo’s decimation is almost unambiguous. Western industries stand to gain the most from Congo’s riches, being that industries such as the automobile, aerospace, electronics, technology and jewelry industries are sourced by them. Simultaneously, as the United States and United Nations stood by as Rwandan Rebels (their refugee presence in DRC, among other factors, led to the first Congo War in 1996.) invaded Congo, these resources were going out the back door. 

Congo is the largest territory that doesn't have a functioning government. It has been subjected to over 125 years of destabilization largely due to outside influences. Since 1996, the Congo war has claimed the lives of over 6 million people. Half of those lives have been children under five. An estimated claim of 400,000 women have been raped since 1995.  Literally, the nation is screaming for help. Even though the world joined ranks to shun and stamp out the evil doers behind the Jewish Holocaust, Congo alongside Rwanda and Uganda have been collectively subjected to the greatest massacre that has emerged and persisted throughout our lifetime.

Watch the documentary, “The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo” on Women For Action TV.


Julene Allen Julene Allen Author


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