When will you realize that rape is a common weapon in war?
I have been working as an obstetrician-gynecologist in this area (1) for fifteen years. When I see the first blow to the women present with a history of extremely violent rape, I don’t understand. I think it’s sick, crazy. Their brutality goes to the point of destroying the female genitalia. But the number of cases is increasing every month. These women’s stories reflect a method. I have seen villages where all the women have been raped in one night. Rape as a weapon.
Weapons of social destruction …
We are talking about public rape, gang rape, children, where children are forced to rape their parents and vice versa. They first destroy individual identities. And relationships mean that in a society, everyone has a role to play. Under this law, people lose their identity and the identity of the community is lost as a result of accumulation. Socially-established rules, including social cohesion, fall. When you manage to disrupt a community, it becomes easier to subdue it. It’s strategic.
Is rape here also a symbolic destruction of the human matrix?
Not just symbolic. When you rape a woman, shoot her genitals, give her caustic soda, hot molten plastic, you reach motherhood. This is done to reduce the population in terms of population. The results are similar to classic warfare, with less expensive weapons. While gang rape affects women, it also reduces the population. It is not a sexual act of persuasion, but a war, to destroy.
Do you believe in humanity?
How do people not believe? I see, for example, the solidarity of the West in the face of the suffering of the Ukrainian people, which moves us all. I am fascinated by this division of humanity, the consequent ban. There is a human speed. If the world wants, it can impose peace, it can oppose barbarism. The example of Ukraine gives me confidence in humanity.
The Mapping Project (2) documented 617 crimes in the DRC, identified criminals, but buried them. Are we witnessing a classification of suffering?
The example of solidarity for Ukraine should be applauded, but the response to suffering should not be selective. Humanism should not be a changing geometry. It cannot be discriminatory when humanity suffers.
Does what you see hurt you?
When you treat a mother, when you give birth to her child as a result of rape and when you also treat, a few years later, this child for the same extreme violence, it is a trauma. You no longer have the language, you no longer know what to say to the victim. This is the result of non-application of existing legal instruments. I have been fighting for ten years for the justice of the victims. They have the right to truth, memory, compensation and a guarantee not to repeat. Immunity allows the perpetuation of the crime.
I record this interview via a smartphone: this object connects me to the misfortune of Congolese women …
Congo is rich in strategic minerals. They allow us to keep our smartphones, our laptops … There are no batteries except these minerals: Cobalt, Coltan, Tungsten … The war we are going through is not racial, as its proponents say, but it is economical to control these deposits, their Looting makes us all partners in this misery. The ore of our phones is made by shedding the blood of innocent women, raping children.
You disturb these interests and question the order of the world under male domination: it has got you two assassination attempts …
This domination goes through the destruction of women, restructured, objective. We destroy it to destroy society. To oppose the weapon of rape, to condemn, to tell the truth, to demand justice, threatens every day. I live in my own country under the protection of the United Nations. I have to stay in the hospital, with the sick. It’s a choice I made. This lady, I tried to abandon them but by their actions they brought me back to reason.
Did you go into exile after a murder attempt?
Yes. But these women who earn less than ড 1 a day tried to pay for my Boston / Bukavu plane ticket. Every Friday, they would sell the vegetables and fruits they produced and save $ 50 per week. Women from rural areas, without much intellectual training, but determined and courageous. They demonstrate at the entrance of the hospital every Friday. It’s upsetting me.
Would you call yourself a feminist?
I believe that in our society, we adopt patriarchal ideas that lead to inequality and misery. I am in favor of positive masculinity. Against the poisonous one that makes little boys grow up thinking they are superior to their sisters.
Is your fight also cultural?
When these women are asked what compensation they expect, they express gratitude. This is not a material request, but a symbolic request. Education for their children to ensure their future – this is what they want compensation for. Many of them say they went through all this because they lacked education. They want to protect their children from this.
And all that God, you priest. Do you doubt?
I believe in a God who is just, who gives me the freedom to choose. If we make a bad choice, then the responsibility is not on God. The God I believe in is not a dictator.
(1) Bukavu, Democratic Republic of the Congo.