She called on Congo’s government to put an end to the rape of women and girls as “weapons of war”. She stressed the need to tackle the trade in minerals such as coltan which are dug in the war-torn eastern part of Congo for use in consumer electronics and which are one of the key causes of the conflict. According to the United Nations, all sides in the civil war are guilty of human rights violations. Mrs Clinton will also visit Goma, the capital of the violent North Kivu province.
The long and brutal conflict in the DRC has caused massive suffering for civilians, with estimates of millions dead either directly or indirectly as a result of the fighting. There have been frequent reports of weapon bearers killing civilians, destroying property, committing widespread sexual violence, causing hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes or otherwise breaching humanitarian and human rights law.
Few people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) have been unaffected by the armed conflict. In total, three quarters (76%) of the people have been affected in some way – either personally or due to the wider consequences of armed conflict.