Britain donates $672,000 to ICC kitty By LYNETTE MUKAMI in Nairobi | Wednesday, February 13   2013 at  19:38

DR Congo refugees arriving to Rwanda. Rape as a weapon of war is widespread in the country. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

The UK has announced a donation of $672,000 (£500,000) to the Trust Fund for Victims (TFV) for supporting victims of sexual violence under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

This is the third such contribution in as many years by the UK Government.

It goes into supporting national and international jurisdictions in investigating and preventing sexual violence in armed conflict.

The TFV board welcomed the announcement, saying it appreciated the donation by the UK.

Ms Kristin Kalla, the Senior Programme Officer of the TFV, said that the trust fund “has made significant progress in supporting over 5,000 survivors of sexual and gender-based violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and northern Uganda”.

She added that the contribution would allow TFV to expand their assistance to other countries such as the Central African Republic.

Weapon of war

Rape has been used as a weapon by soldiers in many parts of Africa.

In the strife-torn DR Congo, for instance, the brutality of rape remains widespread.

The United Nations High Commissioner of Human Rights explains that women are often seen as being responsible for their own rapes and usually end up being ostracised by families and friends.

They largely suffer in silence and it is this effect on the family and community at large that makes sexual and gender-based violence so effective.

TVF was established by Article 79 of the Rome Statute to benefit victims of crimes and their families within the jurisdiction of ICC.

Email - lmukami@ke.nationmedia.com