Conflict & Justice

Sexual violence continues in Darfur

It's no secret that rape has been used as a weapon of war in the Darfur conflict, but this new report makes it striking how much rape has become a fact of daily life for women in Darfur. People are crowded into refugee camps, women are the ones sent to fetch firewood and water and they're vulnerable to attack. The author of the report says rape has become a constant risk. The report details a series of horrific crimes by government soldiers, government backed militia, and rebels. Human Rights Watch says women and girls desperately need protection from these attacks and the group says neither the government nor peacekeepers acted to provide either that, or proper justice for survivors so far. In fact Sudanese authorities deny responsibility and blame the rebels for rape. This activist says the most frustrating part is that Sudan is not a failed state and the government has laws and a functioning judicial system to prosecute rape. The government protects its own, especially those in uniform, with immunity laws says this researcher. The picture is bleak: with no prosecution, the attacks are likely to get worse.

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