Last week, Human Rights Watch released a scathing report exposing mass rape by the Sudanese military. We first heard about these mass rapes late last year, but the news could not be easily corroborated. Since then, however, through telephone interviews, Human Rights Watch has been able to verify that nearly 200 rapes occurred during a three-day period – between October 30 to November 1, 2014 — in the small town of Tabit in North Darfur.
Through 130 interviews Human Rights Watch learned that women and girls were routinely raped in their homes by government soldiers sometimes in front of their husbands and children. They were not shown any mercy often having several men rape them. Soldiers who left the military told HRW that women and girls were targeted because those in high command beliebed them to be rebel supporters.
“The deliberate attack on Tabit and the mass rape of the town’s women and girls is a new low in the catalog of atrocities in Darfur,” said Daniel Bekele, Africa director at Human Rights Watch, in a statement. “The Sudanese government should stop the denials and immediately give peacekeepers and international investigators access to Tabit.”
Did you know Liberia has some of the worst rape statistics in Africa? In fact, between 60 – 70 percent of Liberian women have experienced some form of sexual assault according to the Global Post.
A September 2012 report, Peace Without Security: Violence Against Women and Girls in Liberia [PDF], says, “a disturbingly high number of rape survivors are very young girls who have been raped by family members, friends, or neighbors.” But, only 45.3 per cent of rape and sexual assault cases in Liberia result in an arrest or end up in court.
This week a UN Police (UNPOL) officer Helena Wallstrom discussed the importance of forensics and evidence collection in the investigation of rape and sexual abuse cases during a workshop on “Women’s Security in the Community”, jointly organized by UNPOL and the Liberia National Police, in Kakata, Liberia. Local citiznes listened to various informative speeches about rape reporting procedures at the BWI technical high school.
If you would like to help Liberian girls get a strong, healthy start in life donate to our partner More Than Me. More Than Me helps little girls from one of the poorest slums in the world get off the street and into school in Liberia, West Africa.