Women in DR Congo March For Peace

Hundreds of women took to the streets of Kinshasa to demand an end to violence as fighting again surges between the army and rebel forces in eastern DR Congo. The protesters held banners reading "12 Million Victims Since 1994", "Pity the women and families of eastern DRC" and "The Congo will remain whole and indivisible". The march was organised by Minister for Gender, Family and Children Mireille Masangu.

The troops were deployed two months ago as part of the Southern African Development Community Mission in the DRC, with a mandate to "neutralise armed groups", particularly the Rwanda-backed M23 rebels.

In September, Congolese President Félix Tshisekedi called for the withdrawal of a UN peacekeeping mission to the country amid escalating violence, accusing them of failing to stop the rebellions and armed conflict.

The longtime mission of the UN Peacekeeping Mission in DR Congo leaves a complex legacy, providing safety to displaced populations even as peacekeepers were accused of sexual abuse. While some celebrate their departure, others predict a dangerous security vacuum.


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