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This Week in Conflict – DRC

2011 February 7

UN Peacekeepers in the DRC (from

Rebecca Sargent’s weekly update of conflict around the world is a great resource to help stay abreast of conflict around the world and often features stories from countries we work in.  In Democratic Republic of Congo, for example, six national police officers were rescued by UN Peacekeepers after being kidnapped by rebel forces last Saturday:

There was a breakthrough in peace negotiations between the Congolese national army and the Forces Republicaines Federalistes (FRF) in the Kivus. The FRF apparently agreed to hand over all their stocks of weapons and ammunition, and a peace ceremony was held in Minembwe where 500 FRF soldiers are reportedly on their way to integrate with the Congolese army. The six national police officers who were recently kidnapped by rebels were rescued this week by UN peacekeepers without paying a ransom or firing a shot. Parliament recently rejected a bill seeking to abolish the death penalty in the country, leaving human rights defenders divided on the issue. On Friday, 20-30 armed men are said to have launched an assault against an ammunition deport used by airport security in Lubumbashi, forcing the airport to close for five hours.

Search for Common Ground has been in DRC since 2001, working to improve government transparency and accountability.  Search is currently working with the Congolese military on security sector reform, which aims to educate and sensitize members of the military around issues of sexual and gender based violence. One of our main tools in this effort is the Mobile Cinema project, which tackles the issue of rape during wartime and by both military and rebel forces through Weapon of War and Fighting the Silence.  Media has enormous potential to bring about social change and SFCG has been using different formats and innovative production-based training approaches. Learn more about our work in the DRC, here.

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