I remember reading in a book by Louis de Bernières on the First World War; that in war one learns that there is no end to the things that can be shoved up a woman. Then yesterday I read an article about Fistula problems.
The militias in the Congo find conflict with other armed combatants too dangerous and so it is far easier to assault civilians. The simplest way to terrorise any population being, to rape brutally.
So if not penetration by militia men then by their guns, knives, bayonets or sticks sometimes even by firing into the vaginas of their victims. These foreign objects often break into their bladders and cause fistulas or a hole in the tissues as a result of which urine and faeces constantly trickle down their legs.
These women have very little or no hope of survival or care due to the difficult nature of the problem and the scarcity of any type of health care in most war torn areas. So often they lie there and just wait for death. They are incontinent, paralysed and often abandoned because of the constant smell.
Although it took the UN until 2008 to recognise that it was more dangerous to be a woman than a soldier in an armed conflict and that rape was a war crime, the reality plays out in the Congo –among other areas- daily and the UN’s ‘great’ discovery without funding for fistula hospitals and more emphasis and provision of health care and equipped hospitals in war zones sadly changes NOTHING.