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Today marks the 50th anniversary of independence for the Democratic Republic of Congo. At 4am this morning I caught a snippet of the BBC's Martin Plaut asking Congolese people in Kinshasa what there was to celebrate. Not a lot, came the reply. With crumbling infrastructure, continued border conflict, systematic rape of women and girls, and loose trade regulations on the extractives sector - there doesn't seem a lot for the population of DRC to feel good about.
I’ve just spent a week in the diocese of Bukavu in Sud-Kivu where the Interahamwe continue to rape and raid. On Wednesday I visited Mwanda, an hour’s drive from Bukavu town. Just days before, rebel troops had attacked a nearby village, taking the community’s food and animals, leaving one man badly injured.
I’ve just met Furaha Ciwaci in a village outside Goma in the Democratic Republic of Congo. She’s a 17-year-old girl with fierce eyes and a one year-old son.
Last month, David Cameron and Jeffrey Sachs wrote a piece in The Independent on the role of women in international development.