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Why rapes happen

 Rape is one of the most effective war weapons and this is why the practice of it is so widespread. It is also a type of violence which not only has an immediate effect on the present in the course of wars but also makes its consequences felt for a long time after them. We might say that it mortgages the future. A Congolese sister who works offering help to women rape victims in her country explains it with great clarity and lucidity. We shall not mention her name, in order to protect her from possible retaliation in the dangerous context in which she lives and works.

On the cover: the clothes worn by women raped during the war in Kosovo, exhibited in the Stadium of Pristina (AP)

The torture of women and children is often used as a weapon to perpetrate genocide in situations of occupation. Official bodies frequently conceal the real effects of a situation.

Violent acts are a means used by terrorists to drive populations away. Non-indigenous people immediately arrive in the abandoned villages, often protected as minorities. So it is that, benefiting from the protection of international organizations, they settle there in a certain sense at the cost of the original inhabitants, whose opinion no one seeks. This gives rise to new causes of conflict.

However, it is necessary above all to identify clearly the causes of the disaster. We hear talk of rebels, soldiers of the regular army, bands of bandits and struggles between villages or tribes.… Thelocations of the houses burned and of the most devastated pieces of land have a common denominator: they are always places with abundant vital and mineral resources. This is the process: first distress is sown, then the population flees and the invaders move in and live on the resources of this occupied environment, while the fleeing native inhabitants are left without help. They are persecuted, their women and children are raped and their men killed... but in all this nothing is ever clear. There are without any doubt hidden resources which explain these crimes. These must be sought, verifying who is attempting to grab the existing resources. It is like being in a pond in which the water is removed in order to catch the fish.

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Aug. 20, 2019

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