PHR’s team just returned from a training session in the DRC, where they are working with international and local partners to hold perpetrators accountable for using rape as a weapon of war. This is the second in a series. Learn more about the project.
Day 2 in DRC: The PHR team splits up to work on logistics. PHR’s Kenya Coordinator Rachel Muthoga and I, accompanied by our Congolese translators Ignace Kabongo and Safari Nixon, taxied to Bukavu, the main urban center and capital city of South Kivu, in search of bottled water, SIM cards, Congolese francs, and other necessities.
The town was buzzing with activity. Motor bikes and SUVs stirred up dust clouds along the crowded street. On this Tuesday afternoon, all markets were open for business. Women dressed in brilliantly colored fabrics carried large bundles of bananas, corn, garlic, and other food items to sell. Children were running, shouting along the sides of the road. The bustle in the town shows signs of the people’s hope in a peaceful future following years of slaughter, destruction, pillaging, sexual violence, and instability.
Dr. Nancy Cabelus is a Forensic Consultant to PHR’s Program on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zones. She is a forensic nurse and a former Connecticut State trooper. This was Nancy’s first time in DRC.