"We do not need more proof, we need action, urgent action to
arrest those responsible for these crimes against humanity and to bring them to justice," Mukwege told UN member states and U.K. Foreign Minister William Hague, who was also in the room
that day. "Justice is not negotiable. We need your unanimous condemnation of the rebel groups who are responsible for these acts."
has not changed what he does at Panzi Hospital recently. He has, however, upped
his visibility and rhetoric on behalf of his country. The gunmen appeared at
his house the day he arrived home from a trip to Europe, despite the fact that
he was originally supposed to fly home on Friday, not Thursday, according to The New York Times. Have they been
to Eve Ensler, the founder of V-Day, an anti-violence activist movement that operates
the City of Joy, which supports survivors of sexualized violence in Congo with the
Fondacion Panzi. Ensler, a close friend of Mukwege's, told me she was in shock that the war had come to Mukwege's home,
that the message was meant to say: We can
get all of you, even your leaders. Susannah Sirkin, deputy director of
Physicians for Human Rights, told me that the attack on Mukwege, so close
to MONUSCO headquarters, has left people fed up.
"This is a red line
that's been crossed," Sirkin said.
is firm in her belief that this can be a pivotal moment for Congolese women, who have
long been caught in the war's undertow.
real question is, how do we examine this situation in order to get the world to
pay attention?" Ensler said. She trained her sights quickly on the
international community members who, she said,
are dropping the ball on Congo.
aren't the players in this situation -- Rwanda, the Congolese government, the U.K.,
and the U.S. -- being held responsible?" Ensler asked.
answer is complicated, said Anneke
Van Woudenberg, a Congo expert who has closely following developments in the
country for 13 years. The problem in terms of Rwanda, which is allegedly
supporting the M23 -- the militia heading up an insurgency for the past six or
so months -- involves three fronts: security, economics, and politics. Then
there's "genocide guilt," she said, which means that countries like the United States
may give Rwanda a pass when it comes to stopping the M23 militia, which is
being armed and supported from Rwandan soil.
There is great opportunism at play, said
Van Woudenberg, in the ongoing clashes: A number of the militias are taking
advantage of a power vacuum caused by a weak Congolese government and Rwanda is
keeping the fighting over the border from its own country by supporting a
militia that does its bidding. The result is devastating for the Congolese
population, which has been forced to live with repeated cycles of violence. Also,
Rwanda has benefited immensely from Congo's economic wealth, which includes
profits from the mining of cassiterite, coltan, and gold, but also agriculture,
she said, especially in eastern