Thursday, March 15, 2007

Africa: Sexual violence against women in Ivory Coast's conflict has been ignored, says Amnesty International in a new report

BBC News:

Hundreds and maybe thousands of women have been raped, assaulted or forced into sexual slavery, it says.

Fighters from all sides have used sexual violence as part of a deliberate strategy to instil terror in and to humiliate the population, Amnesty says.

A peace deal signed this month aims to unite the country split in two since rebels seized the north in 2002.

The UK-based human rights group says the scale and brutality of the sexual and physical violence being perpetrated against women in the conflict in Ivory Coast is vastly underestimated.

"Hundreds, if not thousands of women and girls have been, and indeed are, still victims of widespread and, at times, systematic rape and sexual assault committed by a range of fighting forces," Amnesty's Veronique Aubert said.

The report - Cote d'Ivoire: Targeting women, the forgotten victims of conflict - includes testimony from women who have been raped, often in front of family and friends.

"The attackers came to our home. They hit my husband and my son - I cried a lot and one of them rushed at me and tore my skirt. They raped me in front of my husband and children," said Benedicte, who was raped by rebels in Bouake in 2002.

The report alleges that those responsible include the New Forces rebels, the militias who support President Laurent Gbagbo, and members of the security forces who are loyal to President Gbagbo.

Ivory Coast must punish war-time rapists: Amnesty


At 4:04 PM, Blogger Congo Global Action said...

You Can Take Action Now!
The International Rescue Committee and the Women’s Commission for Refugee Women and Children need your help in our long-standing fight against violence against women and girls.

There is a new Congress in Washington. It is time to remind our elected
representatives that violence against women and girls must end now – and
that we need them to do something about it urgently.

We need you to sign a petition that the IRC and Women’s Commission
will present to Congress this spring demanding that the fight against sexual
violence become a top legislative and funding priority.

Take action now to make your voice heard – and join our fight to end violence against women and girls.

Go to or


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