Rwandan rebels (FDLR) gang-raped 150 women one weekend

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Rwandan rebels (FDLR) gang-raped 150 women one weekend

Postby The Reaper » Tue Aug 24, 2010 12:52 am UTC

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/23/world ... &ref=world
A mob of Rwandan rebels gang-raped at least 150 women last month during a weekend raid on a community of villages in eastern Congo, United Nations and other humanitarian officials said Sunday.

The United Nations blamed the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, or F.D.L.R., for the attack. The F.D.L.R. is an ethnic Hutu rebel group that has been terrorizing the hills of eastern Congo for years, preying on villages in a quest for the natural resources beneath them.

The raided villages are near the mining center of Walikale, known to be a rebel stronghold, and are “very insecure,” said Stefania Trassari, a spokeswoman for the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. “Rape is something we get quite often.”

But she and other United Nations and humanitarian officials said that this attack was unusual because of the large number of victims and the fact that they were raped by more than one attacker simultaneously.

On the evening of July 30, armed men entered the village of Ruvungi, in North Kivu Province.

“They told the population that they were just there for food and rest and that they shouldn’t worry,” said Will F. Cragin, the International Medical Corps’ program coordinator for North Kivu, who visited the village a week after their arrival.

“Then after dark another group came,” said Mr. Cragin, referring to between 200 and 400 armed men who witnesses described as spending days and nights looting Ruvungi and nearby villages.

“They began to systematically rape the population,” he said, adding, “Most women were raped by two to six men at a time.”

The attackers often took the victims into the bush or into their homes, raping them “in front of their children and their families,” Mr. Cragin said. “If a car passed, they would hide.”

The rebels left on Aug. 3, he said, the same day the chief of the area traveled through the villages and reported horrific cases of sexual violence. “We thought at first he was exaggerating,” Mr. Cragin said, “but then we saw the scale of the attacks.”

Miel Hendrickson, a regional director for the International Medical Corps, which has been documenting the rape cases, said, “We had heard first 24 rapes, then 56, then 78, then 96, then 156.”

“The numbers keep rising,” she said. The United Nations maintains a military base approximately 20 miles from the villages, but United Nations officials said they did not know if the peacekeepers there were aware of the attack as it occurred. A United Nations military spokesman, Madnoje Mounoubai, said information was still being gathered.

The F.D.L.R., which began as a gathering of fugitives of the Rwandan genocide in 1994, has grown into a resilient and savage killing machine and an economic engine in the region.

The United Nations, Congo and Rwanda began a military offensive against the group in early 2009, but since then, humanitarian organizations say, cases of rape have risen drastically.

“It’s awful,” Ms. Trassari said. “The numbers are quite worrying.”

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton visited eastern Congo in 2009 to raise awareness about widespread rape in the region, calling it “evil in its basest form,” and the United States pledged $17 million to the Congolese government to fight sexual violence.

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Re: Rwandan rebels (FDLR) gang-raped 150 women one weekend

Postby Vaniver » Tue Aug 24, 2010 1:21 am UTC

the United States pledged $17 million to the Congolese government to fight sexual violence.
The government? Why don't we fund armed female anti-rape squads? This is Africa- you could do that for $17,000, not $17,000,000, and it would probably be a thousand times as effective.
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Re: Rwandan rebels (FDLR) gang-raped 150 women one weekend

Postby meatyochre » Tue Aug 24, 2010 1:23 am UTC

Vaniver wrote:
the United States pledged $17 million to the Congolese government to fight sexual violence.
The government? Why don't we fund armed female anti-rape squads? This is Africa- you could do that for $17,000, not $17,000,000, and it would probably be a thousand times as effective.

I'm pretty sure that inserting our own wandering "anti-rape squad" into an African country would be more of a PR nightmare than it's worth. The first time they shoot someone accidentally, it's on America's head.
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Re: Rwandan rebels (FDLR) gang-raped 150 women one weekend

Postby Vaniver » Tue Aug 24, 2010 1:29 am UTC

meatyochre wrote:I'm pretty sure that inserting our own wandering "anti-rape squad" into an African country would be more of a PR nightmare than it's worth. The first time they shoot someone accidentally, it's on America's head.
The only way to do it that cheap would be to hire locals, and the female part is critical (this is war-torn Africa- an armed male group is going to be a rape squad).

I also think it's too optimistic to expect that the results on the ground will result into actual PR feedback. That only happens if the results include American citizens.
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Re: Rwandan rebels (FDLR) gang-raped 150 women one weekend

Postby meatyochre » Tue Aug 24, 2010 1:31 am UTC

Vaniver wrote:
meatyochre wrote:I'm pretty sure that inserting our own wandering "anti-rape squad" into an African country would be more of a PR nightmare than it's worth. The first time they shoot someone accidentally, it's on America's head.
an armed male group is going to be a rape squad

Not every male in Africa is a rapist.
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Re: Rwandan rebels (FDLR) gang-raped 150 women one weekend

Postby Jahoclave » Tue Aug 24, 2010 1:38 am UTC

meatyochre wrote:
Vaniver wrote:
meatyochre wrote:I'm pretty sure that inserting our own wandering "anti-rape squad" into an African country would be more of a PR nightmare than it's worth. The first time they shoot someone accidentally, it's on America's head.
an armed male group is going to be a rape squad

Not every male in Africa is a rapist.

Right, well he did qualify it to males in an armed group. So at least he made a little less of a generalization.

Still, I feel like a horrible person because I imagined this anti-rape squad as a female mix of Captain Planet, The A-Team, and a mix of Rachel Ray, Martha Stewart and the girls from the View.

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Re: Rwandan rebels (FDLR) gang-raped 150 women one weekend

Postby Sheikh al-Majaneen » Tue Aug 24, 2010 6:23 am UTC

Jahoclave wrote:
meatyochre wrote:
Vaniver wrote:
meatyochre wrote:I'm pretty sure that inserting our own wandering "anti-rape squad" into an African country would be more of a PR nightmare than it's worth. The first time they shoot someone accidentally, it's on America's head.
an armed male group is going to be a rape squad

Not every male in Africa is a rapist.

Right, well he did qualify it to males in an armed group. So at least he made a little less of a generalization.

Still, I feel like a horrible person because I imagined this anti-rape squad as a female mix of Captain Planet, The A-Team, and a mix of Rachel Ray, Martha Stewart and the girls from the View.

That would make an excellent movie.

I wonder if these rapists think their actions make their mothers proud.

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Re: Rwandan rebels (FDLR) gang-raped 150 women one weekend

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Aug 24, 2010 6:26 am UTC

meatyochre wrote:Not every male in Africa is a rapist.


One in four (South) African males admits to having committed rape, and half of those on multiple occasions. So yeah, a large group of armed men is probably going to have quite a few rapists among them.

While I know that Rwanda isn't South Africa, I'm going to assume that South Africa is a slightly safer place to live.

I would hazard a guess that rape in Africa is a right of passage on similar lines as it was in the early 19th century Southern US, where groups of white boys would sneak into the female slaves' quarters and become men, in only the loosest definition of a man.

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Re: Rwandan rebels (FDLR) gang-raped 150 women one weekend

Postby Zamfir » Tue Aug 24, 2010 7:08 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:
meatyochre wrote:Not every male in Africa is a rapist.


One in four (South) African males admits to having committed rape, and half of those on multiple occasions. So yeah, a large group of armed men is probably going to have quite a few rapists among them.

While I know that Rwanda isn't South Africa, I'm going to assume that South Africa is a slightly safer place to live.

This isn't in Rwanda, which is as far as I can tell a pretty stable and safe place nowadays. I think it is even promoted as one of the safest tourist destinations in Africa, probably safer than South Africa.

These rapes are in the Eastern Congo. This group is a successor of the Hutu groups that fled Rwanda in the early 90s after committing the genocide. After the genocide Paul Kagame and the Tutsi RPF from Uganda came to power in Rwanda and chased groups like this away. The fighting then moved to Zaire, and led eventually to the big wars there, and eventually the mess it is now.

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Re: Rwandan rebels (FDLR) gang-raped 150 women one weekend

Postby Aikanaro » Tue Aug 24, 2010 1:06 pm UTC

Vaniver wrote:
the United States pledged $17 million to the Congolese government to fight sexual violence.
The government? Why don't we fund armed female anti-rape squads? This is Africa- you could do that for $17,000, not $17,000,000, and it would probably be a thousand times as effective.

That, or use it to fund research into promoting Vagina Dentata in women in the area. Actually, isn't there a device women can, um, leave up there as a trap? I know this sounds silly, but I coulda sworn I once heard of something like that a woman can use as a kind of preventative defense against sexual assault.....start distributing those, and you're gonna have instances of rape go down FAST, or at least a marked decline in repeat offenders.
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Re: Rwandan rebels (FDLR) gang-raped 150 women one weekend

Postby BlackSails » Tue Aug 24, 2010 1:13 pm UTC

Aikanaro wrote:and you're gonna have instances of rape go down FAST, or at least a marked decline in repeat offenders.


Or they just check, and shoot the women using it.

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Re: Rwandan rebels (FDLR) gang-raped 150 women one weekend

Postby Chen » Tue Aug 24, 2010 1:33 pm UTC

BlackSails wrote:Or they just check, and shoot the women using it.


Or even not check, get hurt and shoot the woman in rage instead. Even if this type of device works at harming the rapist the woman is almost certainly still going to be harmed/killed.

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Re: Rwandan rebels (FDLR) gang-raped 150 women one weekend

Postby Sockmonkey » Tue Aug 24, 2010 1:38 pm UTC

That's why those devices never caught on. A man with a magled dong is going to want to shoot someone. If he's too messed up to shoot then his buddies will shoot.

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Re: Rwandan rebels (FDLR) gang-raped 150 women one weekend

Postby Ulc » Tue Aug 24, 2010 1:47 pm UTC

Vaniver wrote:
the United States pledged $17 million to the Congolese government to fight sexual violence.
The government? Why don't we fund armed female anti-rape squads? This is Africa- you could do that for $17,000, not $17,000,000, and it would probably be a thousand times as effective.


I'm not entirely sure that I'm comfortable with the idea of the state arming a bunch of vigilantes, and having no measures to control them.

In fact, I'm pretty sure I find it a horrible idea.

While the crime that gets committed on a very regular basis in countries such a congo, are horrible, it is really not a good idea to arm a group of people, give them leave to shoot whoever they want and expect that it wont be abused.
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Re: Rwandan rebels (FDLR) gang-raped 150 women one weekend

Postby Moo » Tue Aug 24, 2010 1:56 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote: (South) African males
Uhm... you know one country with 50 million people doesn't represent an entire continent with ~1 000 000 000* people in 61 countries because it happens to have the continent in its name, right?

You don't say "83%** of (South) Americans speak Spanish" and so make an even remotely accurate point about how much Spanish the two Americas, complete with USA and Canada, speak; do you?

Now, rape happens to be something that is a big deal in South Africa just like in some other African countries, but that phrasing just sounded really, really ignorant.


*phrased this way for clarity being an idiot - EDITED
** I have no idea
Last edited by Moo on Tue Aug 24, 2010 4:26 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Rwandan rebels (FDLR) gang-raped 150 women one weekend

Postby Chen » Tue Aug 24, 2010 2:00 pm UTC

Moo wrote:Uhm... you know one country with 50 million people doesn't represent an entire continent with 100 million million* people in 61 countries because it happens to have the continent in its name, right?


Wouldn't 100 million million people be 10^14 people. I don't think thats what you meant. There ~10^9 people in Africa (the american billion).

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Re: Rwandan rebels (FDLR) gang-raped 150 women one weekend

Postby Moo » Tue Aug 24, 2010 2:09 pm UTC

OK I got that wrong but it is extremely tangental to the point I was making.
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Re: Rwandan rebels (FDLR) gang-raped 150 women one weekend

Postby Gorillamb » Tue Aug 24, 2010 2:38 pm UTC

Ok, I say we form an army ourselves. Kind of like "Dutch" did in Predator!
You know, take a couple of "chain guns", some “over-unders” and some counter-insurgency tactics, live of the jungle for a few months and trail those "Bastards" killing off each one till there is no one left!
I just finished a tour of Afghanistan in the most dangerous place on the “tour”. Killed a lot of bad guys and did a good mission for the residents of the area.
These “guys” are just punks and thieves that need to be taught a “John Wayne” lesson!
Nothing to fear but not having enough fire-power to rid the earth of everyone of them!
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Re: Rwandan rebels (FDLR) gang-raped 150 women one weekend

Postby The Reaper » Tue Aug 24, 2010 4:00 pm UTC

Gorillamb wrote:Ok, I say we form an army ourselves. Kind of like "Dutch" did in Predator!
You know, take a couple of "chain guns", some “over-unders” and some counter-insurgency tactics, live of the jungle for a few months and trail those "Bastards" killing off each one till there is no one left!
I just finished a tour of Afghanistan in the most dangerous place on the “tour”. Killed a lot of bad guys and did a good mission for the residents of the area.
These “guys” are just punks and thieves that need to be taught a “John Wayne” lesson!
Nothing to fear but not having enough fire-power to rid the earth of everyone of them!
There is nothing worse than people that think that they are the “chosen ones” to rule over the rest of us!
We are all in this together and if something is not done to stop it early then we will all be fearing a visit in the night!

"quotation marks" ;3

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Re: Rwandan rebels (FDLR) gang-raped 150 women one weekend

Postby Oregonaut » Tue Aug 24, 2010 4:09 pm UTC

Seriously? "Bad guys"? What is this, a 1980's cartoon?

The rapes are horrible, but if the Congolese government can't resolve this issue, we're just going to cause more trouble if we go in and do anything.
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Re: Rwandan rebels (FDLR) gang-raped 150 women one weekend

Postby BlackSails » Tue Aug 24, 2010 4:12 pm UTC

Really, Rwanda, The Congo, etc are all failed states. The only thing that will solve this in a reasonable amount of time is to knock down the entire government, impose a foreign military dictatorship (like Japan after WWII) and build the country from the ground up. The governments are just too corrupt and/or overtly evil for anything else to happen.

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Re: Rwandan rebels (FDLR) gang-raped 150 women one weekend

Postby The Reaper » Tue Aug 24, 2010 4:13 pm UTC

BlackSails wrote:Really, Rwanda, The Congo, etc are all failed states. The only thing that will solve this in a reasonable amount of time is to knock down the entire government, impose a foreign military dictatorship (like Japan after WWII) and build the country from the ground up. The governments are just too corrupt and/or overtly evil for anything else to happen.

I'm sure there's people somewhere that say the same thing about here too.

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Re: Rwandan rebels (FDLR) gang-raped 150 women one weekend

Postby Vaniver » Tue Aug 24, 2010 4:16 pm UTC

Ulc wrote:I'm not entirely sure that I'm comfortable with the idea of the state arming a bunch of vigilantes, and having no measures to control them.

In fact, I'm pretty sure I find it a horrible idea.

While the crime that gets committed on a very regular basis in countries such a congo, are horrible, it is really not a good idea to arm a group of people, give them leave to shoot whoever they want and expect that it wont be abused.
You realize that's actually what we're doing, right? We're funding the Congolese government, whose army is only going to be at most one step above vigilantes, to continue a war which has dramatically increased the number of rapes in the region.

If you arm females, you get multiple benefits. The first is that they have a decreased propensity to rape, the second is that they have stronger and more positive connections to the local community, the third is that they tend to be more responsible (that's one of the reasons microcredit institutions in Africa and elsewhere lend predominantly to women), the fourth is that they're not already entrenched in a power structure that's associated with corruption and violence, the fifth is in the next response.

Oregonaut wrote:The rapes are horrible, but if the Congolese government can't resolve this issue, we're just going to cause more trouble if we go in and do anything.
What? This is the other thing to realize: The US is paying the Congolese government because rapes are going on. What incentive does that give them to resolve the issue? The history of aid to African states has been a long and sad one that suggests it encourages rather than discourages these disasters.

This is a village problem- that the villages are unable or unwilling to stand up to a rapist army roaming the countryside. Give it a village solution- arm the women in the villages so that they are more able and more willing to defend themselves (or, at least, increase the costs to the rapists, hopefully discouraging rapes). The national solution- increase activity by the DRC army- encourages rape on two fronts. First, the DRC will undoubtedly contain rapists, and second, the FDLR has and will respond to violence with violence, particularly by striking out at villages the DRC cannot protect.

The Reaper wrote:I'm sure there's people somewhere that say the same thing about here too.
And if the Martians give us good governance, I don't see how that would be trading down.
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Re: Rwandan rebels (FDLR) gang-raped 150 women one weekend

Postby Oregonaut » Tue Aug 24, 2010 4:25 pm UTC

Hrm...re-reading what I wrote I can see how that confused you Van.

Mostly I was irritated by General Idiot Joe's grawr armed conflict comment.

What I was trying to say is interventions in any regard will only likely lead to somewhere bad. We give money, we are promoting the behavior, since we can't monitor its use. We send in troops, to stop systematic rape, we lose international opinion, and end up staying in, engaging in conflict, killing people, getting bombed, failing, coming home, and improving the likelihood that it will happen again.

That's why I said that the government needs to stop this. I meant, of its own accord. If they can't, anything we do is just going to worsen the situation.
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Re: Rwandan rebels (FDLR) gang-raped 150 women one weekend

Postby BlackSails » Tue Aug 24, 2010 4:27 pm UTC

The Reaper wrote:
BlackSails wrote:Really, Rwanda, The Congo, etc are all failed states. The only thing that will solve this in a reasonable amount of time is to knock down the entire government, impose a foreign military dictatorship (like Japan after WWII) and build the country from the ground up. The governments are just too corrupt and/or overtly evil for anything else to happen.

I'm sure there's people somewhere that say the same thing about here too.


I would agree with those people, if roving gangs of government sponsored rapists went about my country fighting non government sponsored rapists. Also if we still had slaves and widespread cannibalism.

What I was trying to say is interventions in any regard will only likely lead to somewhere bad.


I really cant see how it can get much worse.

That's why I said that the government needs to stop this. I meant, of its own accord. If they can't, anything we do is just going to worsen the situation.


The government probably could stop it. It does not want to, since the primary purpose of many governments in that area in the world is to enrich the dictator. The owner of the congo for example, is estimated to have embezzled upwards of 4 billion dollars personally, and this is from the poorest country in the entire world.

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Re: Rwandan rebels (FDLR) gang-raped 150 women one weekend

Postby Oregonaut » Tue Aug 24, 2010 4:35 pm UTC

Ok, so what is the solution? We go in and destabilize, then replace, a dysfunctional government? Another adventure into a sovereign nation because we don't like the way they do business? Another couple tens of thousands of people killed, more people angry at the US, more terrorists, more international condemnations of US Imperialism?

Oooh, even better! We could involve the UN! So that they can be completely uninvolved in Africa in another part of Africa!

We can't have it both ways, where the US fixes problems, gets shit for it, then gets blamed for not involving itself in problems anymore. Pavlov really does work, eventually.
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Re: Rwandan rebels (FDLR) gang-raped 150 women one weekend

Postby Crius » Tue Aug 24, 2010 4:47 pm UTC

Vaniver wrote:If you arm females, you get multiple benefits. The first is that they have a decreased propensity to rape, the second is that they have stronger and more positive connections to the local community, the third is that they tend to be more responsible (that's one of the reasons microcredit institutions in Africa and elsewhere lend predominantly to women), the fourth is that they're not already entrenched in a power structure that's associated with corruption and violence, the fifth is in the next response.


The big downside being that FDLR would probably massacre the first village that tried to resist as an example. It's possible there would be less rapes, but it's probable there would be a lot more bloodshed.

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Re: Rwandan rebels (FDLR) gang-raped 150 women one weekend

Postby BlackSails » Tue Aug 24, 2010 4:50 pm UTC

Oregonaut wrote:Ok, so what is the solution? We go in and destabilize, then replace, a dysfunctional government? Another adventure into a sovereign nation because we don't like the way they do business? Another couple tens of thousands of people killed, more people angry at the US, more terrorists, more international condemnations of US Imperialism?

Oooh, even better! We could involve the UN! So that they can be completely uninvolved in Africa in another part of Africa!

We can't have it both ways, where the US fixes problems, gets shit for it, then gets blamed for not involving itself in problems anymore. Pavlov really does work, eventually.


Destabilize what? Its already utterly destabilized. The people cannot fix it. The government and rebels are the problem.

Lets say you want to start a new rebel group, dedicated to improving the area. Good for you, maybe you can fix things. Of course, if you want to start a rebel group, your wife, mother and sisters and daughters will all be gang raped to death. Your sons will be kidnapped and either sold as slaves or turned into child soldiers. Your father is probably already dead, since the life expectancy is about 30. They will then probably cut off your hands and light you on fire.

Literally, these people would be better off if we took over the region and North Korea.

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Re: Rwandan rebels (FDLR) gang-raped 150 women one weekend

Postby Vaniver » Tue Aug 24, 2010 4:56 pm UTC

BlackSails wrote:The government probably could stop it. It does not want to, since the primary purpose of many governments in that area in the world is to enrich the dictator. The owner of the congo for example, is estimated to have embezzled upwards of 4 billion dollars personally, and this is from the poorest country in the entire world.
I think that presumes more competence and experience than most governments of developing countries have, and it should be noted that's the previous owner of the Congo.

Oregonaut wrote:Ok, so what is the solution? We go in and destabilize, then replace, a dysfunctional government? Another adventure into a sovereign nation because we don't like the way they do business? Another couple tens of thousands of people killed, more people angry at the US, more terrorists, more international condemnations of US Imperialism?
Stop thinking in terms of national governments. What progress we've made in Afghanistan has not happened in Kabul, and progress in DRC will not come out of Kinshasa. The $17,000 estimate above was just for buying crates of AKs and painting them pink; spend ten times as much, and you've also got a team of military advisers to escort the weapons and give weapons and tactics training to the women.

Quite possibly the most horrible thing about this situation is that the solution is too cheap to be considered. A single person could make a nonprofit that makes this happen. That's not worth Hillary Clinton's time.

Crius wrote:The big downside being that FDLR would probably massacre the first village that tried to resist as an example. It's possible there would be less rapes, but it's probable there would be a lot more bloodshed.
Quite possibly. The thing to realize, though, is that they're massacring villages anyway. Most of these women are literally raped to death (counting, as one should, the suicides and hospitalizations that end in death). Being shot is probably preferable, and battles are more likely to damage the FDLR than consciences.
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Re: Rwandan rebels (FDLR) gang-raped 150 women one weekend

Postby Oregonaut » Tue Aug 24, 2010 5:07 pm UTC

You're correct in that it isn't worth the Secretary of State's time, because the solution that would likely be most effective would come back to them the first time it backfired.

The women there have suffered, a lot, and could easily be excused for being exuberant in punishing the people who are responsible for their pain. However, any state sponsorship would lead to condemnation by any other government. So yes, a private party (if one can be found who is not corrupt) could buy some kalishnakovs, paint them paisely with purple and pink highlights, train the women in their use, and the first time they caused problems for the rape gangs, they'd be killed, or they'd break and run, or (I'd give them a 20% chance) succeed. If they succeed, now what? The private party continues to feed them ammo?

The reason that I mention central governments is because the only way to stabilize a region like Afghanistan, or the DROC/ROC, in the long term, is to set up a government that actually gives two shakes about the people. 3,000 women with pray'n'spray tactics aren't going to suddenly develop a continental congress.
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Re: Rwandan rebels (FDLR) gang-raped 150 women one weekend

Postby meatyochre » Tue Aug 24, 2010 5:36 pm UTC

Get the women and their families out, refugee style, and let the rebels kill and rape each other because all the vaginas are gone. When all the rebels are dead, rehome the women and their families?

Not realistic obviously, but um... I think it sounds as effective as some of the other solutions being proposed.
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Re: Rwandan rebels (FDLR) gang-raped 150 women one weekend

Postby Zamfir » Tue Aug 24, 2010 6:01 pm UTC

meatyochre wrote:Get the women and their families out, refugee style, and let the rebels kill and rape each other because all the vaginas are gone. When all the rebels are dead, rehome the women and their families?

Not realistic obviously, but um... I think it sounds as effective as some of the other solutions being proposed.

But they rape people to scare them away from their houses, so they (and their wives and children) can live there, or so that they can control the local mine.

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Re: Rwandan rebels (FDLR) gang-raped 150 women one weekend

Postby Diadem » Tue Aug 24, 2010 6:12 pm UTC

Why is that when people say 'we should step in' they always look at America. Yes, America has perhaps the longest history with involving itself in conflicts like this. But not a very succesful one. Besides the US military is already overextended, and the USA doesn't have the credibility. Let the EU step in. They have the means and the resources, and they have the credibility to at least not be immidiately condemned for something like this. Also by and large the European armies seem to be somewhat more suited for these kind of missions. American soldiers are hopelessly bad at understanding other cultures and working with the local population. And last but not least. It's the EU who created this mess in the first place. Particularly, when talking about Congo, it's Belgium that created this mess.

But I'm afraid this is wishful thinking. A mission like this can not be done succesfully. Politicians are elected every 4 years. Politics has a memory of maybe a decade at best. Succesfully changing a failed state like this into a democracy is a process that takes many decades. There is simply no way that any democracy can make the necessary commitment. You see this in Iraq. The USA is already pulling out after a measly 6 years, while they should be staying for another 30 at least if they want any chance of being succesful.
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Re: Rwandan rebels (FDLR) gang-raped 150 women one weekend

Postby Zamfir » Tue Aug 24, 2010 6:34 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:Why is that when people say 'we should step in' they always look at America. Yes, America has perhaps the longest history with involving itself in conflicts like this. But not a very succesful one. Besides the US military is already overextended, and the USA doesn't have the credibility. Let the EU step in. They have the means and the resources, and they have the credibility to at least not be immidiately condemned for something like this. Also by and large the European armies seem to be somewhat more suited for these kind of missions. American soldiers are hopelessly bad at understanding other cultures and working with the local population.


During the Rwandese genocide, a French army was present and fought bravely, but accidentally on the side of the genocidaires. Part of the underlying problem was that the Tutsis invading from Uganda spoke English, and France wanted to keep Rwanda in the Francophone sphere. So when the messages about genocide came in, they assumed it was the Tutsis who were responsible. A very small Belgian force was present slightly earlier and did try to stop the first starts of the massacre, but 10 of them were hacked to death. After that, Belgium withdraw the rest of the troops because the people back home did not believe the commander on the ground who warned for the coming genocide. Based on those parts of European intervention in the region, I don't think you can claim that Europeans have a particular knack for understanding the local population.

For the rest, I don't think you can blame this on Belgium in particular. Mobutu ruled for decades, in much more recent history than Leopold. The US, most European countries and China all happily supported the guy in everything he did, because he hated the Russians. Outsiders have a decent amount of responsibility for the current situation, but those outsiders are pretty much half the world.

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Re: Rwandan rebels (FDLR) gang-raped 150 women one weekend

Postby Oregonaut » Tue Aug 24, 2010 8:11 pm UTC

Which is why Africa needs to solve many of Africa's problems. I'm not saying that the First World does not need to be involved at all, but most First World countries went through periods of crisis just like this before they reached where they are now.
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Re: Rwandan rebels (FDLR) gang-raped 150 women one weekend

Postby Vaniver » Tue Aug 24, 2010 8:14 pm UTC

Oregonaut wrote:The reason that I mention central governments is because the only way to stabilize a region like Afghanistan, or the DROC/ROC, in the long term, is to set up a government that actually gives two shakes about the people. 3,000 women with pray'n'spray tactics aren't going to suddenly develop a continental congress.
The reason I don't think central governments will be effective is because the first priority will always be ensuring that the cobalt flows. "The people" are also a heavily fractured body- note that the Continental Congress only included part of Britain's colonies in North America, and they all had mostly the same ethnic background.

The most credible group to give two shakes about the people in a village are the women in that village. Build bottom up. Indeed, notice that the continental congress was formed by people with guns, not by the central government.
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Re: Rwandan rebels (FDLR) gang-raped 150 women one weekend

Postby Oregonaut » Tue Aug 24, 2010 8:18 pm UTC

Exactly, but do you think that the women in Africa will have enough clout, or enough guts, to go into the necessary gOHrilla (I love misspelling that word)...ahem, guerilla warfare mode in order to defeat the better armed, and possibly foreign-sanctioned troops? This could go from F2 shitstorm to an F5 real quick, and we aren't exactly talking about a population that has been indoctrinated with the "we are free and independent people" philosophy necessary to carry out an armed revolution.
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Re: Rwandan rebels (FDLR) gang-raped 150 women one weekend

Postby Vaniver » Tue Aug 24, 2010 8:27 pm UTC

I think they will be cheaper and better at reducing the number of rapes than the option currently being taken with my tax dollars. When it comes to the effectiveness of any plan taken in Africa, all I have to offer is hope.
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Re: Rwandan rebels (FDLR) gang-raped 150 women one weekend

Postby Oregonaut » Tue Aug 24, 2010 8:33 pm UTC

Sad, but true.

It honestly couldn't be any worse than it is now, and at least they would have died fighting.
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Re: Rwandan rebels (FDLR) gang-raped 150 women one weekend

Postby Felstaff » Tue Aug 24, 2010 9:46 pm UTC

Vaniver wrote:I think they will be cheaper and better at reducing the number of rapes than the option currently being taken with my tax dollars. When it comes to the effectiveness of any plan taken in Africa, all I have to offer is hope.
Or you're just unwittingly fuelling the conflict, not with tax dollars, but leisure dollars.

This is one of the most complex situations in the world today, and as such, the media simply don't report on it because there's no good guy. More specifically; there's no bad vs. good.

Watch this. The latter half is set in the exact place some of you are suggesting to send armed forces to (Kivu, Bukavu). Perhaps a visualisation of what's really happening may change a few attitudes?
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