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Tuesday, October 02, 2007


by Rita Catinella Orrell

Extreme sexual violence against women is pervasive in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and local authorities do little to stop it or prosecute those responsible, a U.N. investigator said on Monday. Rape and brutality against women and girls are "rampant and committed by non-state armed groups, the Armed Forces of the DRC, the National Congolese Police, and increasingly also by civilians", said Turkish lawyer Yakin Erturk. "Violence against women seems to be perceived by large sectors of society to be normal," she added in a report after an 11-day trip to the strife-torn country. —Reuters UK, July 30, 2007

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo
soldiers carve up women
with less care than bushmeat.

Their flesh and pelt
are worthless to sell,
unlike the wild bonobos and gorillas.

Like unlicensed medics they
excavate wombs with knives and guns.
Unborn babes are tossed to the gutter
for daring to be born into hell.

I wish the women, alive and dead,
could rise up, castrate these creatures,
drive them from Congo,
from Earth,
from Life.

Rita Catinella Orrell works as an editor and writer in New York City. She is currently a featured poet at