A new UN report published today calls for reparations for victims of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as “a matter of priority”. The 55-page report is a fascinating read, not only for the conclusion that it draws, for the establishment of a meaningful fund to compensate victims of the mass rape that is ongoing in the DRC. Though there may be a debate as to whether the fund could be considered reparations, would be dependent on there being a proper judicial basis for their award. However, without question, such as fund is critical to ensure to meet the needs of victims, “ranging from medical and psychological treatment, to their socio-economic situation, and lack of access to justice, compensation and other forms of remedies and reparation.” However, 17 years on from the genocide in Rwanda, such support is still critically required by women survivors in Rwanda as well. Though resolutions calling for exactly such support have been passed at four consecutive UN General Assemblies, still no such reparations fund for women survivors of the the Rwandan genocide has been established by the international community.
I hope that this this report calling for such a fund in the DRC, will reopen the debate on a parallel fund in Rwanda.