The State Department has provided The Daily Beast with documents detailing how the $17 million to fight sexual violence have been allocated, mostly toward treatment programs for rape survivors. But human rights advocates hope for more. They believe the US should stop sending hundreds of millions of dollars in aid--including military training--to Rwanda and Uganda, whose armed militias perpetrate violence and rape across the border in Congo. They also criticize the administration and Congress for failing to crack down on multinational corporations that operate mines in the country, some of which have paid off armed groups in exchange for access to mineral deposits.She points to the mining trade as a root of the violence and notes that bipartisan legislation that requires electronics companies to disclose whether manufacturing materials are sourced from the Congo does not go far enough.
And advocates contend the U.S. should take a leadership role in reforming the United Nations mission in Congo, MONUC, which is regarded as ineffectual at best, corrupt and complicit at worst. The U.S. contributes about a quarter of the funding for the mission—about $337.5 million annually—but no troops. MONUC’s mixed record has led Congolese President Joseph Kabila to pressure the UN to pull its peacekeepers out of Congo by the end of 2011.
But critics say the international community, led by the United States, needs to police the mining industry more heavily, and ensure that a significant percentage of Congo's mining profits benefit the nation's citizens. "Electronics companies are seven steps down the supply chain,” said Carney of Friends of the Congo. “Focus on the mining companies. Impunity exists not only in Congo but all the way up the chain to the international level.”Other highlights of the feature include a profile of Chouchou Namegabe, an anti-rape activist, and a photo essay of survivors of sexual violence.