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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

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Nkosingiphile Emmanuel Mkhize

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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

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

Anotace: 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.

Abstract: 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, Instruments

Jazyk práce: angličtina

Obhajoba závěrečné práce

  • Obhajoba proběhla 25. 1. 2018
  • Vedoucí: Mgr. Martin Chovančík, Ph.D.
  • Oponent: Mgr. Jana Urbanovská, Ph.D.

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