Tatiana Mukanire Bandalire, on behalf of all raped Congolese women

National coordinator of the National Movement of Survivors of Sexual Violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tatiana Mukanire Bandalire delivers, in “Beyond our tears”, prefaced by Doctor Denis Mukwege, Nobel Peace Prize winner, an account of testimony and a fight in which an impressive determination and courage shine through.

Beyond our tears

1996, in an electric and complex geopolitical context where precious minerals attracted greed from all sides, chaos took hold in Zaire at the time. Funded in the West, foreign rebel militias are forming all over the region at the same time as armies from neighboring countries, guided by remote control, enter the country, determined to control the area and to organize the trafficking of precious minerals, generating gigantic profits.

A first war broke out in the high plateaus in the east of the country, neighboring Rwanda. The population suddenly falls into horror, an incessant nightmare, made up of successive armed conflicts which will never end again, and whose objective seems to be the eradication of the population. The inhabitants, in their villages and on the roads, suffer head-on the shock of violence of all kinds perpetrated by rebels, army insurgents, soldiers, police officers, thieves …, men drunk with the power and the power given to them by the weapons, and especially this formidable and transgenerational weapon that we did not know in the region, rape used as a weapon of war with the power of devastating destruction, aggravated for many victims by an obligation to remain silent.

But Tatiana Mukanire decided to speak, on her own behalf and on behalf of other female victims. (Presentation of Women’s editions)

“We have this desire to live within us. We have proven it by fighting for our survival, by clinging to life. We were sex slaves, we were buried alive when we could no longer meet the needs of our captors. We were tied to a tree deep in the forest. We were raped almost every hour. We passed out. Several times, we thought we were dead, but deep inside us there was still hope to breathe again and to live again. “ TMB