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Sudan war: women are its first victims… and dozens of rape cases


Sudan war: women are its first victims… and dozens of rape cases

The rape of women, even minors, in the Sudanese capital (Khartoum) and other states is one of the most preoccupied issues for families during the last period, perhaps more than the war itself, which, like all wars, is accompanied by sexual violence against women.


Statistics obtained by Asharq Al-Awsat indicate that 49 confirmed cases of rape were recorded, and that some of the survivors were raped in front of their husbands and children, and some of them suffered psychological trauma as a result of being raped more than once, by people wearing “rapid support” uniforms, and others in clothes. civilian. However, many rape cases are not reported for fear of social repercussions.

This was confirmed by the head of the Unit for Combating Violence against Women, Salimi Ishaq, to ​​Asharq Al-Awsat. She said: “There were 25 cases of rape in Darfur, while 24 cases were recorded in Khartoum in the age groups between 12 and 54.” She added, “The documented cases represent only 2 percent of what is actually happening in the capital; Because the crime of sexual violence is often hushed up,” noting that there are obstacles facing survivors, such as the scarcity of agencies that can provide them with support.

Ishaq described what is happening now as “a state of chaos carried out by forces that lack leadership, and sometimes it is difficult to deal with them.”

Ishaq said that the majority of the survivors explained that the assault on them was carried out by forces wearing the “Rapid Support” uniform.

A paramedic in an empty corridor at the Soba University Hospital, south of Khartoum, which was damaged by the war (AFP)

What does international law say?

International humanitarian law does not differentiate between women and men, but it differentiates between combatants and civilians, and women are mostly civilians, not combatants. The rape of women is a “war crime,” and this law does not allow those who carry the status of “warrior” to rape women or harm civilians. But what is happening in reality is that women, due to the fragility of their situation in wars, are the first victims, and sometimes the purpose of raping them is to inflict “shame” on the enemy.

In a statement, the army said that the Rapid Support Forces committed sexual abuse against women and minors. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also condemned the occupation of the Omdurman Maternity Hospital (midwives) on May 3, the expulsion of medical staff from it and the removal of pregnant women. .

However, the Rapid Support Forces said that they did not commit these crimes, and that the uniforms of the forces are used by some to tarnish their image.

Doctors Syndicate documented

Secretary of the Medical Syndicate, Attia Abdullah, told Asharq Al-Awsat that cases of women who were raped were documented during the last period, indicating that many cases were not reported due to the “social stigma” attached to the raped woman. Abdullah revealed cases of pregnancies of raped women due to lack of treatment. Because they are in areas that are difficult to reach or leave due to the clashes.

Abdullah said, “Cases of rape of women over the age of 50 have been recorded, and cases of rape of minors,” noting that if the raped women do not take treatment within 72 hours, they are at risk of pregnancy, or infection with AIDS and hepatitis in some cases.

Abdullah pointed out that the Medical Syndicate was able to provide treatment for women who were subjected to violence of all kinds, and to educate doctors to deal with these cases.

Cases of assault by military forces wearing the “rapid support” uniform were not limited to some Sudanese women. Some organizations working in the field of voluntary work were forced to leave Sudan, after 3 women working in voluntary organizations were raped by military forces.

The two warring powers deny the accusations of rape of women, and each says that these cases took place in areas controlled by the other side.

Defenders of women’s rights assert that war threatens women’s lives, exposing them to murder, kidnapping and rape, and that the danger to women doubles during wartime. Because they play the role of mother and father together in the event of the death or loss of the head of the family, and then the woman is forced to perform hard work sometimes to save the money that helps her to provide food for her children.

A medical center that was hit by shells in the “Sixta Market” in the Mayo region last week (AFP)

Seema Center

The director of the Sima Center, Nahed Jabrallah, told Asharq Al-Awsat that the violations against women are constantly increasing, and that some women were raped by forces wearing the “rapid support” uniform, and others were raped by armed elements, but in civilian clothes. Stressing the difficulty of talking about statistics at the present time, because many cases have not been reported, explaining that the absence of the judicial apparatus provides an opportunity to commit more crimes, and revealed that there are 7 cases of rape of men.

Jabrallah said that the “Sima Center” succeeded, in cooperation with other partners, in providing the necessary treatment dose to deal with the repercussions of rape, and also succeeded in educating and training workers in shelter centers, and encouraging reporting in cases of sexual assault.