Thursday, October 05, 2006

Rape in Darfur

Karen Allen:

Hawa was raped in broad daylight, the way it often happens here in northern Darfur.

Clutching a baby to her breast, she relived her ordeal from Kassab camp which is sanctuary to more than 20,000 people displaced by Darfur's bloody conflict.

"I left the camp with two other girls, to get grass for the donkeys," she remembers.

"Along the way we met more than four men with guns. One of them grabbed my arms and another one grabbed my legs. They said they would kill me if I didn't co-operate."

Because of the alarming reports of rapes, I came to the camp which is a few dusty miles outside Kutum, some 130km (80 miles) north of the regional administrative capital of El Fashir.

Inhabitants are packed close together in makeshift huts to ensure safety in numbers.

But the numbers of women raped are on the rise since African Union troops were forced to abandon "firewood patrols", which once escorted them to the periphery of the camp to collect wood for fuel.

I found 21 women and girls have been raped in the camp in the past two weeks.

It is a staggering figure that gives some insight into the vulnerability of areas where peacekeepers are absent.

Hawa blames the government-backed Arab militias or Janjaweed that linger outside.

But, in truth, the rebel groups also account for their fair share of crime.

There are similar stories of rapes across Darfur, the figure rising in areas that are now hard to reach.

This is the territory where the Janjaweed - the Arab militia - roam, and 5km (3 miles) north of Kutum is where a handful of militia groups are now fighting for territory.

It is a civil war that, since the signing of a peace deal back in May, has grown far more complex.

With fighting between a growing number of rival rebel groups, some of them very small, Darfur now resembles Somalia - with warlords recruiting private militias to extort money, wield power and terrorise the local population.

Sudan: Crying out for safety

Aid workers in Darfur persevere against violence and suspicion

Top UN envoy Darfur needs peace pact before troops

New Amnesty International Report says Darfur is Crying Out for Safety


At 1:55 PM, Blogger Jay McGinley said...

God bless you for a story that can move us. But move we-the-citizens where? Some of us know where:

Several of us have decided to begin a RESCUE DARFUR FAST. One of us began 5 days ago, and several others today. Links below for the details.
Nothing less than a worldwide fast-until-the-genocide-stops will be enough to stop it.
Nothing less will be a sufficient moral response.
Nothing less will preserve our humanity, yours and mine.
Please consider linking (below) to increase the visibility of this effort.
Jay McGinley
Day 134 Darfur Vigil at White House; Day 68 Rescue Darfur Fast (since July 4, 2006)
DARFUR Dying for Heroes (you would find this a helpful resource)
Stand With Darfur-White House II
Please consider linking here to increase the visibility of this effort.


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