Professor of French Joseph Mwantuali was an invited participant on a panel about “Sexual & Gender Violence” during the annual Congo Week conference in New York City on Oct. 15. The event was organized by The Friends Of the Congo, an advocacy organization for the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Mwantuali drew from Tell This to My Mother, his novel based on the true story of a war rape victim, to talk about “‘Femicide’ (or ‘Feminicide’) and impunity in the Congo’s wars of invasion.”
He concluded with a call for a U.S. movement to pressure the United Nations Security Council to establish an International Criminal Tribunal for the Congo, as it did after the wars in Yugoslavia, Rwanda and Sierra Leone.
According to Mwantuali, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda’s closure took place last December but its structure and mechanisms are still in place in Arusha, Tanzania.
“It would be easy to establish an International Criminal Tribunal for the Congo right there, but powerful lobbies protecting individuals such as President Paul Kagame of Rwanda and President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda are making it difficult for the U.N. Security Council to establish such a tribunal,” Mwantuali said.