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Canada's Role in Ending the Conflict-Driven Rape in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo

Event Date: 
November 17, 2008 - 23:00

Six Canadian and one international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are jointly calling on the Canadian federal government to take a proactive role in ending the violent sexual assault against men, women and children in the D.R.C. The NGOs have issued a letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper and members of his cabinet to intervene in the escalating violence in the D.R.C.; and stress the need to act on the United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1794 and 1820. The NGOs also intend to highlight the increased risk of HIV infection that results from systematic sexual violence.

A press conference to be jointly supported by the Canadian Treatment Action Council (CTAC); the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network; Amnesty International (Canada); Dignitas; the Interagency Coalition on AIDS and Development (ICAD); the International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS (ICW) and the Stephen Lewis Foundation to highlight the human rights violations, pain and suffering being endured by the people in the eastern D.R.C.

Speakers will include:
~Stephen Lewis, Chair, Stephen Lewis Foundation & Former UN Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa
~Louise Binder, Chair, Canadian Treatment Action Council
~Sandra K. Chu, Senior Policy Analyst, Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network

Toronto City Hall Members' Lounge
Toronto, Ontario


Dear All,

I became aware of the suffering in EDR Congo during my first mission to develop a program in 1997 in Bukavu. I was again in Bukavu in 1999 and also worked as the emergency program manager from 2002 to 2004.

In 2003 I worked with communities to set up ACBL(Advisory Centers for Better Living) centers in Goma, Bagira and Bukavu to serve around 3,000 families with guidance and loans to recover, stabilize and develop themselves. In 2005 I worked with concerned citizens in Kongolo, North Katanga, DR Congo to establish ACBL centers to negotiate release from Mai Mai camps, identify their talents/strengths, provide technical and business training and reinstate child soldiers in communities. Please see a photo and list of the activities at:

I am currently based in Uganda as the region technical advisor for the American Refugee Committee and am developing a program to reactivate and expand the ACBL centers and establish additional centers in around 30 villages.

I am very interested in knowing the outcome of the press conference and also any action plans where we can participate/contribute as one of the activities of the ACBL centers is to provide trauma counselling and establishing early warning systems for conflict prevention.

We would also like to have any contact information of potential donors for interventions in Eastern DR Congo, to submit proposals.

Thanking you and hoping to hear from you soon,
Sunimal M. Alles
Regional Technical Advisor
Economic Opportunities-East Africa,
ARC International,
P.O. Box 7868, Kampala, Uganda.
Mobile: +256772726891

I have just set up a group to help monitor the rapes there. You might want to join.

Also, do you know about the site that maps citizen reported acts of violence and acts of peace? It is anecdotal only, but a start for accountability.

I hosted a radio show about DR Congo on KGNU Dec 9th archived on Have a listen.

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