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Angelina Jolie in Congo with William Hague for anti-rape campaign

Posted By KATE STANTON, UPI.com   |   March 25, 2013 at 3:36 PM
A-list celebrity Angelina Jolie and British Foreign Secretary William Hague have begun a visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda to call attention to the women and communities affected by warzone rape, just weeks ahead of the yearly G8 meeting in London.

According to Hague's office, the two plan to meet with rape survivors and local political leaders on the tour.

In a statement, Hague called his campaign against warzone rape his "personal priority" for the upcoming G8 meeting, which brings together world leaders to address global issues like food security, energy and the economy.

"Rape is often used as a weapon of war in conflict zones around the world. It destroys people’s lives and communities in the most horrific manner imaginable. Yet more often than not the international community looks away, the perpetrators of these brutal crimes walk free and the cycle of injustice and conflict is repeated We have to shatter this culture of impunity."

"We want to learn the lessons that their experience holds for how the world can protect thousands of women, men and children at risk of rape in many other conflict zones," Jolie, a United Nations special envoy, said of the trip.

"And we want to persuade governments around the world to give this issue the attention it deserves. Unless the world acts, we will always be reacting to atrocities, treating survivors rather than preventing rape in the first place."

Hague and Jolie, who launched Britain's Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative in London last year, will ask G8 leaders to agree to a new "International Protocol on the Documentation and Investigation of Rape and Sexual Violence" and to agree that rape constitutes a "grave breach" of the Geneva Convention.

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