Saturday, March 14, 2015

Darfur Action, 2015

Human Rights Watch reported to Radio Dabanga that 221 women and girls in Darfur were raped over a two-day period at the end of October last year. Sudanese armed forces entered the town, beat up and removed the men and proceeded to systematically enter homes to rape women. The government denied access for the United Nations/African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID, a.k.a. the African Union/United Nations hybrid operation in Darfur) to enter the town to investigate until about a week after the incident. Before UNAMID was allowed to enter the town, the government instructed civilians against reporting that anything had happened.  Then the militia accompanied UNAMID during its investigation. Eyewitnesses were intimidated and afraid to speak up. This led to a report by UNAMID stating that no evidence of crime had been found.

Women from Tabit have to live with the shame of having been raped. Their men have been humiliated as the government is sending the message that they cannot protect their women.  Women are in need of and do not have access to physical or psychological health services.  They live in fear of having it happen again. They say being in Tabit is like living in “an open prison.” 

In November 2014, UNAMID was not allowed to make a proper investigation of the alleged rapes that took place in Tabit town. We ask that the Sudanese government allow UNAMID to return and be given unrestricted access to investigate the alleged assault of women in Tabit town at the end of October 2014. Human Rights Watch has released a report on the incident. It has been suggested that UNAMID open a base in Tabit. Although the Sudanese government denies that any rapes occurred, there have been numerous interviews by Human Rights Watch with Darfurians who were there when it happened.

To read about the opening of a UNAMID base:

By Bob Saulnier, Amnesty International Group 133

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