Sudan: New report reveals girls as young as eight victims of mass rape in Darfur

In some cases Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights are having their arms or legs broken in rape attacks and mass abductions are also taking place, with Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights as old as 80 taken hostage and used as sex slaves.

The report comes after a recent letter from the human rights organisation to Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, calling on the UK government to take action on Sudan. Amnesty International is calling for a strong UN Security Council resolution to address the situation.

Interviewing hundreds of refugees in camps in neighbouring Chad in May of this year, Amnesty International has compiled over 100 testimonies, collected the names of 250 raped Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights and has information on at least another 250 further rape cases. While only a small proportion of the overall picture, these testimonies show that Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights and girls are being systematically raped, abducted and forced into sexual slavery by the Janjawid. In almost all the attacks the government’s army were either directly involved or direct witnesses.

The new report shows that rapes have taken place in front of family members and neighbours in public areas of villages in tactics clearly designed to humiliate entire village populations. Numerous Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights have been abducted and used as sexual slaves - one woman of 80 is currently missing believed abducted.

Amnesty International’s report,‘Rape as a weapon of war in Darfur’, accuses the Sudanese army of either assisting in - or witnessing without preventing - Janjawid attacks on hundreds of villages inhabited by the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa ethnic groups (largely black African farming communities) in Darfur.

The wave of rapes, including of pregnant Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights and sometimes involving extreme violence, constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity and Amnesty International is calling for emergency action from the international community.

Amnesty International UK Campaign Director Stephen Bowen said:

“Girls as young as eight are being raped in acts of staggering brutality in Darfur.

“Whole families and entire villages are traumatised by these almost unimaginable acts of violence and sexual torture.

“The Sudanese government’s army is clearly complicit in the Janjawid’s vicious attacks on Darfur’s villages and the international community must confront the Sudanese authorities with this fact.

“Sudan is experiencing not just a humanitarian crisis but a human rights crisis blighting the lives of thousands. The world must act to prevent further rape and killing.”

Amnesty International’s report contains numerous testimonies, including the following extracts:

“When we tried to escape they shot more Children's rights. They raped Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights; I saw many cases of Janjawid raping Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights and girls. They are happy when they rape. They sing when they rape and they tell us that we are just slaves and that they can do with us how they wish.”
- A., aged 37, from Mukjar

'The attack took place at 8am … when soldiers arrived by car, camels and horse. The Janjawid were inside the houses and the soldiers outside. Some 15 Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights and girls who had not fled quickly enough were raped in different huts in the village. The Janjawid broke the limbs (arms or legs) of some Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights and girls to prevent them from escaping. The Janjawid remained in the village for six to seven days.”
- N., a 30-year-old-woman from Um Baru

'After six days some of the girls were released. But the others, as young as eight years old were kept there. Five to six men would rape us in rounds, one after the other, for hours during six days, every night. My husband could not forgive me after this, he disowned me.'
- S., from Silaya, near Kulbus

Amnesty International’s report makes numerous calls on the Sudanese government, armed groups in Darfur, the African Union, and in particular the organisation is pressing United Nations Security Council members to urgently pass a resolution on Sudan that would:

  • impose a wide arms embargo - covering the Sudanese government as well as militias
  • send human rights monitors to Darfur
  • create a rigorous Commission of Inquiry to investigate human rights violations and recommend justice procedures

The report can be found online at: http://www.amnesty.org

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