Rape as a Weapon of War Continues Unchecked in Darfur
Eric Reeves | December 18, 2017 | https://wp.me/p45rOG-2aA
As this dispatch from Radio Dabanga makes clear, rape as a tool of ethnic war continues in Darfur.
[ See also: “Continuing Mass Rape of Girls in Darfur: The most heinous crime generates no international outrage,” Jan. 2016, Eric Reeves, author | Maya Baca, research/editing | http://wp.me/p45rOG-1QG ]
• Three young women gang raped by herders in Central Darfur | Radio Dabanga | December 18, 2017 | NIERTETI
Three young women from Nierteti camp for the displaced in Central Darfur were raped in separate incidents on Friday and Saturday. The coordinator of Nierteti camps told Radio Dabanga that six armed herders attacked two displaced women who were collecting firewood north of Nierteti. One of the victims is 16 years old, and the other 19 years old and eight months pregnant. The coordinator said that the armed herders took turns raping the women for two hours at gunpoint.
He explained that the incident was reported to Nierteti unified police unit No. 716 and UNAMID, and a medical report was filed confirming the rapes.
Also in Nierteti, two armed herders raped a displaced girl from the camp on Saturday. The coordinator told Radio Dabanga that two herders attacked a displaced woman while collecting firewood north of Nierteti and repeatedly raped her. He said that the incident was reported to the unified police unit at No. 69 and UNAMID.
The inability of UNAMID to prevent, or even investigate, such brutal acts of sexual violence defines the incompetence and lack of leadership in the Mission. And yet, despite such manifest incompetence, finally cowardice, UNAMID is being reduced by 44% of its military presence in Darfur and 30% of its police presence, per a June 2017 re-authorization by the UN Security Council, which has abandoned all pretense of concern for civilian lives in Darfur.
These very young women from the IDP camp at Nierteti, like tens of thousands of other rape victims were non-Arab/African farmers attacked by armed Arab militia/outlaw forces. It is a continuation of the use of rape as a weapon of genocidal war, not so much organized by Khartoum as deliberately enabled—and of course unpunished or officially unreported. Indeed, UNAMID’s failure even to report sexual violence has been a signature feature of its deployment in Darfur, now ten years long: official deployment began on January 1, 2008, as the UN/African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) incorporated and expanded the “African Union Mission in Sudan” (AMIS).
AMIS had failed completely despite claims in 2005 by current AU negotiator-in-chief for Darfur, the corrupt [see https://wp.me/p45rOG-1If ] and diplomatically worthless Thabo Mbeki:
“As South Africa’s President Thabo Mbeki explained, ‘We have not asked for anybody outside of the African continent to deploy troops in Darfur. It’s an African responsibility, and we can do it.'” (“No Power to Protect: The African Union Mission in Sudan” (Refugees International | November 2005)
Other African Union officials were as foolish as Mbeki: Jean-Baptiste Natama, a senior AU political official, declared:
“‘If the situation [in Darfur] is getting worse, we are not going to pack our luggage and leave Darfur…. We are going to have a robust mandate to make sure we are not here for nothing. We should be able to bring peace, or impose peace.'” (New York Times, November 29, 2004)
Shameless even in the face of disgraceful failure, the AU Peace and Security Council, in a May 2013 meeting, held up UNAMID as “worthy of emulation” in future operations. Heaven help the girls and women who in the future enjoy AU “protection” …
Radio Dabanga photo accompanying its report on the rape of three young women in the Nierteti area of Central Darfur