The Women Testify: 'The next day, I was raped again by a policeman'
6 December 2007
© Cédric Gerbehaye/MSF
"One night, at two in the morning, I heard the noise of the military trucks and I hid in the bush. The next day, at one in the morning, the military came back and arrested me. They beat me up and put me in a truck. The whole neighbourhood was swept off all at once. There were 68 people. We were transported to Tshamba, to a village called 'La Ferme'. We were put in a cell. There we were many men, women and children.
"The first day a policeman dragged me up to the door of the cell. I was not cooperating so they beat me up. He raped me. Almost all the women in the cell were raped.
"The next day, I was raped again by a policeman. The children were left untouched, but the young women aged 15 and older were also raped. We were given nothing to eat or drink. The children did receive a little bit of water and food. The men were not raped, but were hit with belts.
"Policemen gave drugs [laxatives] to men so they had diarrhoea, to check if they had diamonds. As for me, I was introduced to a hand and an arm in my vagina to be checked. When the policeman withdrew his hand, I was bleeding.
"After two days, we were put in trucks and we were transported to Dundo. We were about 80, and in the cell, even more. We were given biscuits and milk, but not for more than 20 people. The men took the food. We drank the sewage water going through the cell. I spent one night in Dundo. A policeman raped me. The policemen were sharing the women. I felt so sad that I was hoping I could die.
"In the cell, people were not talking. They were crying. As for me, I was thinking about all the things I had lost in Angola. I felt a deep sorrow.
"After a night in Dundo, we were all put in trucks and we were transported to the border at Kamako. Past the border, we walked up to the ANR [Agence Nationale de Renseignements - National Information Agency] to be registered. Then I left in the direction of a church. I simply put my cloth wrap down on the ground and I slept.
"After three days in Kamako, we left as a group for the bush, trying to cross to Angola to get our possessions. But in Tshitumdu, in Angola, on the shortcut road to exit the city of Thsikapa, we ran into the corpses of men and women. We were afraid to fall into an ambush and we went back to Kamako.
Since then, I've been staying in a church, where there are other expelled people. I don't know how to reach Kinshasa. It hurts on my ribs, where I was hit. I will never dare to go back to Angola."
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