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Africa Command Supporting U.S. Government Initiative in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
The U.S. Africa Command has been asked by the U.S. Department of State to assist the U.S. government&#39;s efforts in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to prevent and respond to sexual and gender-based violence in the DRC. <br /> <br
The U.S. Africa Command has been asked by the U.S. Department of State to assist the U.S. government's efforts in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to prevent and respond to sexual and gender-based violence in the DRC. Currently, the command is planning to send a small team of specialists to the DRC to look at what is currently being done by U.S. government and international organizations and to assess how the U.S. military may be able to support the initiative. Command officials note that this will be done in full coordination with and support of the U.S. Embassy in Kinshasa and with U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) representatives already in the DRC. USAID has the U.S. government leadership role addressing development issues and working with nongovernmental organizations. The Africa Command team -- about four or five people -- will consist of military and civilian medical and engineering specialists and an Africa Command USAID advisor. While no date has been set, the command recognizes the importance of this initiative to the U.S. government and ensuring that U.S. military activities complement and add value to efforts underway by other organizations. In other Africa Command efforts related to this initiative: Two U.S. military Public Affairs officers visited Kinshasa and met with officers of the DRC armed forces Aug. 17-19, 2009. The purpose of this visit, conducted at the invitation of the Congolese government, was to familiarize Congolese military officers on the variety of methods the U.S. military uses to communicate with its members and to conduct internal communication campaigns. From June 15-25, two U.S. military legal officers from Africa Command traveled to the DRC and partnered with a Congolese military lawyer to lead executive-level seminars on military justice, human rights law and the law of armed conflict. See the complete blog entry on this trip at "AFRICOM Dialogue". To learn more about the U.S. government's initiative in the DRC, go to America.gov. Fact sheet on U.S. Partnership with DRC Against Gender-Based Violence (Aug. 12, 2009) United States Pledges $17 Million to Aid Rape Survivors in DRC (Aug. 12, 2009) No Excuses for Gender-Based Violence, Clinton Tells DRC (Aug. 11, 2009)
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