The launch and discussion of the new USIP Special Report "Rape in War: Motives of Militia in DRC" by Jocelyn Kelly.

On June 19, 2008, the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 1820, which noted that “rape and other forms of sexual violence can constitute war crimes, crimes against humanity or a constitutive act with respect to genocide.”

The resolution signaled a new approach in the international community to recognize widespread sexual violence against women in conflict as a threat to international peace and security. To date, much of the research on sexual and gender-based violence in conflict zones has focused on victims and survivors of rape.  However, to address the problem at the policy level requires a better understanding of the drivers of sexual and gender-based violence in conflict. This perspective can only be gained by examining the experiences and motivations of the perpetrators themselves.

This event will launch the USIP Special Report entitled, “Rape in War: Motives of Militia in DRC.”  This report, based on interviews conducted with members of the Mai Mai militia group in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), discusses the militia members’ attitudes toward sexual violence and their varied motivations.  Former Commander of the U.N. Mission to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Major-General Patrick, Cammaert and Anne-Marie Goetz, Chief Adviser, Governance Peace and Security, UNIFEM, will discuss the report’s implications for ending the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war in the DRC, and for humanitarian and policy interventions by the international community. 

Read the full report


  • Jocelyn Kelly
    Gender-Based Violence Research Coordinator
    Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI), Harvard University
  • Major General Patrick Cammaert
    Former Commander of the Eastern Division
    U.N. Mission to the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC)
  • Anne-Marie Goetz
    Chief Adviser, Governance Peace and Security
  • Kathleen Kuehnast, Moderator
    Gender Adviser
    United States Institute of Peace


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