Congo Rape Crisis Exposes U.N. Weakness

Congo’s continuing rape crisis, with gangs of rebels tearing through villages attacking hundreds of women even with peacekeepers nearby, has exposed just how weak the United Nations is. For three days this summer, rebels terrorized the remote Luvungi village and raped 200 women, both girls and the elderly. The violence has become a huge embarrassment to the U.N., whose peacekeepers are still failing at doing their most basic task—protecting civilians—despite billions of dollars and years of experience. Two years ago, rebels killed 150 people in Kiwanja—a village within earshot of a U.N. base. With the Congolese army corrupt and disorganized, and police drunk or M.I.A., U.N. peacekeepers are the last line of defense for the country’s population. Congo sees the worst sexual violence in the world, with the peacekeeping community referring to it as “the Afghanistan of Africa.”