Open Letter to the US Secretary of State



Date: 8/13/09

Dear Madam Secretary of State:

I would like to command you for traveling to the city of Goma in North Kivu in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

I am happy that you had the opportunity to see for yourself some victims (women and children) of the horrible sexual and gender-based violence in the east of Congo .

As you know, rape was used (is still being used) as a weapon of war in the war that has engulfed the Democratic Republic of Congo for over a decade and that has left more than five million people dead. The perpetrators of sexual violence are now serving in the national army as a result of a peace agreement between the former belligerents (the government and rebel groups).

I applaud the commitment of your government to help the government of DRC put an end to this culture of impunity, especially with regards to sexual violence against women and children. One way your government can really help DRC is to provide DNA technology to help identify perpetrators of horrendous sexual crimes during the time of war and punish the criminals.

Your government can send DNA technical experts to DRC to help collect DNA samples from former militias and soldiers who fought in the east of Congo and from children born out of rapes. By matching the DNA samples of children and militias in a DNA data center, the question of paternity of these fatherless children will be established. The criminals will then be excluded from the national army and brought to justice. Even new victims will be able to report to these data centers for vaginal swaps, which can help catch rape criminals. This will be an effective way to help DRC advance the criminal justice system, hence bringing an end to a culture of impunity.

Ending the vicious cycle of mass-rapes as weapons requires an investment. We count on your government as well as on the international community, including the United Nations, to invest in DNA solutions to help end the reign of violence in eastern Congo.

DNA evidence is one of the most powerful tools that law enforcement has today. More than ever, the Democratic Republic of Congo needs this tool to fight sexual violence used as a weapon of war.


Sylvester Ngoma
Owner and Founder
Congo Vision


Johnnie Carson, Assistant Secretary/ Bureau of African Affairs

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