Faculty of social studies Department of International Relations and European Studies
Critical success factors(CSFs) to combat the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war: The Democratic Republic of Congo armed conflict case study
Nkosingiphile Emmanuel Mkhize Supervisor: Mgr. Martin Chovancik Ph.D
Study Field: European Politics
Year of Enrollment: 2016 Brno, 2017
I hereby declare that this thesis I submit for assessment is entirely my own work and has not been taken from the work of others save to the extent that such work has been cited and acknowledged within the text of my work.
Date: 16 December 2017 Signature: Nkosingiphile Emmanuel Mkhize
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Aaaah Mara, Look at God! I would like to thank God for giving me the strength to keep on keeping on even though it felt like it was not possible to get this research project done. God (Lion of Judah, King of all Nations), thank you for walking side by side with me even when I felt like giving up, not only for this research project but in the entire Master-degree programme. In short, I thank you.
Special thanks to the Inspire-South Africa Scholarship project under the Erasmus Mundus Action II programme. Your support throughout my stay in the Czech Republic was made easier by your assistance when needed. To my supervisor, Dr. Martin Chovancik, I wish to extend my sincere gratitude to you. For the patience, comfort, expertise, and intellectual guidance. It was not an easy journey, but you made the journey to be possible to undertake. In short, I thank you.
To my family: My sisters: Lindisiwe Mkhize, and Philisiwe Mkhize, and my brother Ndumiso Thwala. Also, my cousin Sandile Thwala, thank you. Most importantly, a very special thank you for so much love and care, to my mother, Thabisile Dlomo. Mama, thank you for the unremarkable support and understanding. Just know that it would have been impossible for me to even go a day, knowing that I'm more than 8000 miles away from you. I thank you for everything. Once again, thank you Fam.
To my friends and colleagues at Masaryk University and back home (in Mzansi), thank you for the support throughout this project. Remarkably, I cannot underestimate the support and motivation received from the following individuals: Ms. Barbara Bradley, Dr. Suzanne Graham, Mrs. Phumzile Mhlongo, Mr. Kagiso Molwele, Mr. Sihle Ngxamani, Mr. Xolani Mogolo, Mr. Moshe Maphanga, Mr. Mfundo Mabizela, Mr. Omphile Moditse. Ms. Nonsindiso Buthelezi, Ms. Noxolo Mogolo, and Ms. Precious Mdau. I thank you all, and keep on keeping on!
Ultimately, I would like to dedicate this entire study to my late father, Mr. Joseph Mkhize. Dad, wish I could say more, but keep looking out for us, my sisters and me.
Once again, I thank you all!
Finally, to the SVAC victims and survivors in the eastern DRC region. I would like to say to all of you: Aluta Continua! Freedom, Peace and Prosperity will someday prevail, do not lose hope! The Apartheid system in South Africa collapsed, the fall of Mr. Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe came into reality. Your struggles too, will come to an end someday.
As my token of appreciation, I dedicate the following song: ‘Emtee- Thank you'!
For centuries now, sexual violence has been used as a weapon of war in armed conflict. Undoubtedly, it is one of the darkest legacies of the twentieth century, even worse, its outrage continues to ravage in societies of the new millennium. A problem allied with this humiliating and destructing conduct is that sexual violence is seemingly impossible to understand, at some point even to measure. Furthermore, investigating sexual violence in armed conflict has been reckoned as a ‘Taboo.' Implying that victims silence is more likely to take place regardless of their psychological and physical damage. The former Yugoslavia is associated with the genesis of sexual violence in the armed conflict being recognized in international political rhetoric and discourse. Furthermore, sexual violence in armed conflict does not only victimize women and children but also men, thus making the impacts or effects of it to differ from a mere sexual violence offense. The capability of women victims of sexual violence to make use of justice instruments depends on the responsibility of the state, considering the justice mechanism itself and the victims' awareness of their rights. Considering academic scholarship sturdily emphasize that the predominant response to sexual violence in conflict and war contexts has been impunity.
Despite the numerous regional and universal efforts to address the problem of sexual violence in armed conflict (SVAC) that the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo is facing. The issue at hand continues to escalate. These efforts include the United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the African Union’s Gender, Peace, and Security Programme (2015-2020), the UN action network against sexual violence in armed conflict (UN Action), the UNSCRs 1325 and 1820, and the EU Humanitarian aid and conflict prevention initiative.
As a result, the current study focuses on three international organizations (IOs) efforts which are currently in place, to adequately combat the use of SVAC. The IOs are the African Union, European Union, and the Human Rights Watch. Principally, the AU; EU; and HRW are greatly influential actors, on peace and security issues in the globally, regionally, and domestically, and now these organizations, to some extent have adequately managed to influence the end of SVAC. Recently, these IOs, to some extent have adequately managed to influence the end of SVAC. Thus, the current study aims to assess the suitability of the three IOs instruments to combat SVAC, to the challenges faced by the DRC in efforts to combat SVAC in its eastern region. Furthermore, Further the study takes into consideration that SVAC is underpinned by broader gender-based violence. This is evident by the focus which the sexual and gender based violence UN peacekeeping operations tackle this problem. Subsequently, it does no justice to the victims or survivors of SVAC if this issue is viewed separate from patriarchy. Thus, this study will also assess and examine the suitability by the AU, EU, and HRW to address patriarchy. As this current study has an assumption that patriarchal practices are deeply embedded in the issue of SVAC in the eastern DRC.
KEYWORDS: Sexual Violence in armed conflict; Rape; Democratic Republic of the Congo; African Union; European Union; Human Rights Watch; Patriarchy; and Instruments.
CHAPTER FIVE: ASSESSMENT OF THE SUITABILITY OF AU, EU, AND HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH SOLUTIONS TO COMBAT SEXUAL VIOLENCE AS A WEAPON OF WAR TO THE EASTERN DRC CASE………………………………………………………………………………………………………………...82
ICTY: International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
IOs: International Organizations
MONUC: United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo
MONUSCO: United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
RECs: Regional Economic Communities
SDGEA: Solemn Declaration on Gender Equity in Africa
SVAC: Sexual Violence in armed conflict
UN: United Nations
UNSC: United Nations Security Council
UNSCRs: United Nations Security Council Resolutions
WPS: Women, Peace and Security
PSVI: Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative
GM: Gender Mainstreaming
TABLE OF FIGURES:
Figure 1: African countries relationship between political violence and WPS………………………………23
Figure 2: London Guidelines to end SVAC………………………………………………………………………43
Figure 3: Map of Central Africa……………………………………………………………………………………66
Figure 4: Map of the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo………………………………………………….66
Figure 5: Structure of actors responsible for implementing instruments to combat SVAC in the DRC…...75
LIST OF TABLES:
Table 1: Frame on stages of Action and Implementation………………………………………………………..6
Table 2: Assessment of success by the selected IOs instrument(s) to combat SVAC………………………8
Table 3: Global Instruments to address the use of SVAC……………………………………………………..17
Table 4: Human Rights Watch major stakeholders in addressing SVAC………………..…………………...53
Table 5: Assessment of success by the selected IOs instrument(s) to combat SVAC: Applied…………...57
CHAPTER ONE: GENERAL INTRODUCTION
"(Sexual violence) Is a way of demonstrating power and control; It inflicts fear on the whole community. And it is, unfortunately, a very effective, cheap and silent weapon with a long-lasting effect on every society."
- Wastrom (2011) in Anderson (2017)
For centuries now, sexual violence has been used as a weapon of war in armed conflict. Undoubtedly, it is one of the darkest legacies of the twentieth century; even worse, its outrage continues to ravage societies of the new millennium. A problem allied with this humiliating and destructive conduct is that sexual violence is seemingly impossible to understand, at some point even to measure. Leatherman (2010) further states that to investigate sexual violence in armed conflict is a ‘taboo', implying that victims’ silence is likely regardless of their psychological and physical damage. The former Yugoslavia is associated with the genesis of sexual violence in armed conflict being recognized in international political rhetoric and discourse.
In several armed conflicts across all continents of the world sexual violence has been used as a weapon of war. This includes World War II, the Cold War, Vietnam War, Korean War, Latin American conflicts, Bosnia and Kosovo, Turkey, Georgia, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Leatherman (2010), states that at least 624 000 women were victims of sexual violence during the Rwandan genocide, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina conflicts and war. However, in most of these cases of armed conflict it has been possible to mitigate the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war. On the other hand, in some conflicts the same inhumane activities that have been seen for the past decades continue unabated; among others the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is still faced with increasing numbers of incidents of sexual violence. This contradicts two Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Goals number 5 and 6 (gender equity, and peace and justice, respectively). Furthermore, it explicitly violates the International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and International Human Rights Law.
In context, sexual violence in armed conflict not only victimizes women and children but also men, making its impacts or effects different from a mere sexual violence offense. Koo (2002) asserts that the capability of women victims of sexual violence to make use of justice instruments depends on the responsibility of the state, considering the justice mechanism itself and the victims' awareness of their rights. Academic scholarship has sturdily emphasized that the predominant response to sexual violence in the context of conflict and war has been impunity (Kelly, 2010; Koo, 2002; Pankhurst, 2003).
Despite regional and universal efforts to address the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war in the eastern DRC, the number of victims of such crimes is still rapidly increasing. Efforts to deal with the problem include those of the United Nations Mission in the DRC, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the African Union’s (AU) Gender, Peace, and Security Program (2015-2020), the Geneva Call engagement, EU humanitarian aid and conflict prevention, and the UN action network against sexual violence in armed conflict (UN Action). According to the annual report of the UN Team of Experts (ToEs) on the Rule of Law/Sexual Violence in Conflict (2013), the Minister of Gender, Family and Children in the DRC, Ms Geneviève Inagosi, supported the efforts by saying:
“With the support from the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict and especially that of the United Nations Team of Experts on the Rule of Law/Sexual Violence in Conflict, the Democratic Republic of Congo is on the right track. With the support of the TOE, we have been able to develop a plan for the implementation of the joint communiqué that the Government of the DRC signed with the United Nations in March 2013 on addressing sexual violence. We are now progressively moving towards the realization of this plan.”
In contrast, the use of sexual violence in armed conflict (SVAC) in the east of the DRC is on the increase, as the figures on SVAC in a study conducted in 2011 by Peterman, Palermo, and Bredenkamp show that 1152 women are raped every day, which means that approximately 48 women are raped every hour (Adetunji, 2011). The study further states that this is 26 times high than the findings made by the UN in 2007, that ‘16 000 rapes were reported each year’. One then wonders what the figures are today, as MSN News reported that in 2013, the available statistics were just the ‘tip of the iceberg’.
1.2 Problem statement of the current study
“Critical success factors (CSFs) to combat the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war: The Democratic Republic of Congo armed conflict case study" which is the title of this study, is an attempt to determine feasible measures through which the problem at hand can be resolved. Precisely, the problem is that the use of sexual violence in the DRC, which has been continuing for more than two decades now, is one of the most inhumane activities that the country has ever experienced . This has led to the country being named the ‘“Rape Capital of the World” (Wastrom, 2010). Notably, the issue of sexual violence as a weapon of war in the DRC civil war is not a countrywide phenomenon, but predominantly affects the eastern region of the country. Despite various measures that have been put in place, the crisis of sexual violence as a weapon of war prevails. These measures include the establishment of a national law on criminal code, the establishment of the United Nations mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC, which is now known as MONUSCO), the ratification of the protocol for the prevention and suppression of sexual violence against women and children of the Great Lakes region, and the ratification of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC).
The failure of the above-mentioned efforts is due to various challenges that this study aims to address, namely impunity, inadequate facilities, the low status of women, lack of response to the needs of SVAC survivors in the eastern DRC, the commercialization of rape and lack of independence in the transitional justice processes.
Although several books, chapters in books, academic research reports, blogs and other forms of literature have been written on the topic ‘sexual violence as a weapon of war’, none of them has focused on the comparison between various IOs that have expertise on the issue. The closest the literature has got to dealing with this issue is reflected in publications by Wood (2015), Conflict-related sexual violence and the policy implications of recent research; Baazand Stern (2013), Sexual violence as a weapon of war? Perceptions, prescriptions, problems in the Congo and beyond; and Maciejczak (2013) Sexual violence as a weapon of war: ‘Cheaper than bullets’: Sexual violence as a viable strategy of contemporary warfare. A newly released book by Crawford (2017), Wartime sexual violence: From silence to condemnation of a weapon of war, also examines this issue. However, this book’s focus is on efforts made by powerful states, such as the United States of America and the United Kingdom, as well as the United Nations.
Thus, this study uniquely considers the instruments to combat the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war used by IOs such as the AU, European Union (EU) and Human Rights Watch (HRW). Previously, HRW made policy recommendations to the DRC in efforts to end the use of SVAC. This was in HRWs 2002 and 2005 reports, respectively. However, these two reports and their implication for policy recommendation for the eastern DRC with regard to ending SVAC are outdated, which means that some of the recent and possibly the most suitable instruments are not part of the work/reports by HRW to the DRC. Some of these recent instruments, which clearly were not taken into consideration, are the London Summit, United Nations Security Council Resolutions (UNSCR) 1820, 1888 and1889, and the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative (PSVI) (2013).
1.3 Purpose of the study
In consideration of the research problem, as mentioned in section 1.2 of this study, the purpose of this study is to assess and examine the suitability of various instruments used by the AU, EU, and HRW to combat the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war in the eastern DRC. Furthermore, this study takes into consideration the sentiments expressed by Aroussi (2011): “SVAC is underpinned by broader gender-based violence.” This is evident from the focus on the sexual and gender-based violence (GBV) with which UN peacekeeping operations tackle this problem. It does no justice to the victims or survivors of SVAC if this issue is viewed separately from patriarchy. Thus, this study will also assess and examine the suitability of the AU, EU, and HRW to address patriarchy.
The researcher mainly consulted the following research work in formulating and writing the current study: Leatherman (2010): Sexual violence and armed conflict; Brittain (2002): Calvary of the women of Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC); Brown (2012): Rape as a weapon of war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; Card (1997): Rape as a weapon of war; Lindskog (2016): The effect of war on infant mortality in the Democratic Republic of Congo; Cannon (2012): A feminist response to rape as a weapon of war in Eastern Congo; Baaz and Stern (2013): Sexual violence as a weapon of war? Prescriptions, problems in the Congo and beyond; Crawford (2017): Wartime sexual violence: From silence to condemnation of a weapon of war; and Wood (2015): Conflict-related sexual violence and the policy implications of recent research.
To achieve its objective of suggesting solutions to the problem stated, the study poses the following primary research question and secondary research questions:
Primary research question:
Which instruments for combating the use of sexual violence in armed conflict are best suited to eastern DRC?
To answer the primary research question, two secondary research questions will be systematically addressed in this study:
How do the AU, EU, and HRW address patriarchy?
For the AU, EU, and HRW, what are the major challenges, constraints and stakeholders involved in combating the use of sexual violence during armed conflict?
1.4 Study objectives
Primarily, this study has the objective of identifying the best suitable instruments to combat the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war in the eastern DRC. Subsequently, the study poses two supporting objectives, which are closely related to the attainment of the primary objective. These objectives are to
identify and explain the measures used to address patriarchy by the AU, EU, and HRW; and
identify and explain the instruments and stakeholders involved in combating the use of sexual violence during armed conflict, as they may be considered to propose recommendations on how the best suitable instruments can be applied in the eastern DRC.
1.5 Research methodology: Nature, approach, design, and methods
The nature of this research is qualitative. Qualitative research can be understood as the development of explanations of the social phenomenon (Hancock, 1998). According to Silverman (2000), qualitative research allows the researcher to conduct research following an inductive approach. Furthermore, qualitative research uses predominantly descriptive rather than numerical data. The researcher selected qualitative research for two reasons. Firstly, qualitative research simplifies and manages data without removing complexity and context. Lastly, it gives the latitude to generate new ways of seeing existing data. The research design and data collection methods used in this study will be discussed in the following sub-sections.
It is worth noting that due to the above-mentioned reasons, and the nature of the current study, a quantitative research nature is spurious. Also, considering that the recommendation section of this study requires an assessment of applicable instruments, that heavily results in the exclusion of quantitative data in the current study.
1.5.1 Research design
In consideration of the purpose of this study, a case study research design is more feasible than other methods. The selected research design in this study will assist the researcher to assess and examine the various success factors of the AU, EU, and HRW to combat the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war. Implicitly, this comparison and particularly the fact that there are ‘success factors’ mean that there has been a similar problem elsewhere, which has been resolved and/or sufficiently combated. These success factors, which are referred to as ‘suitable instruments’ in the current study, will be aligned with the challenges faced by the eastern DRC in ending the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war.
A case study is self-explanatory. Yin (2014) asserts that a case study is explained by its scope. In discussing a case study scope, Yin (1981 in Yin, 2014) refers to an empirical inquiry aimed at investigating an existing phenomenon in detail in its practical context, especially when there might be differences between the phenomenon and its practical context. It is worth noting that the nature of the case study embedded in this study is a basic case study. This is despite the purpose of the study, which assesses and examines instruments to combat SVAC by different IOs. These IOS are not compared to one another, but they are applied to the case of the DRC.