Rape Is The Weapon Of Choice In Darfur - U2 Feedback

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Old 08-31-2005, 06:28 AM   #1
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Rape Is The Weapon Of Choice In Darfur

from Time.com
Posted Sunday, Aug. 28, 2005

Who Speaks for Her?

Rape is the weapon of choice in Darfur, but Sudan's government doesn't want to hear about it

By SAM DEALEY / KHOR ABECHE

The rapes continued through the day. Kicked and beaten, their hands bound behind their backs, the women lay side by side on the dusty earth beneath Sudan's scorching sun. Nine in all, they were spoils of war, taken last April from their village of Khor Abeche in a dawn raid by the Arab militiamen known as Janjaweed, who had descended on camels and horses and in pickups mounted with machine guns. The women's village, on the cusp of rebel and government redoubts in South Darfur, was burned and looted; their husbands and fathers and brothers were shot when they protested.

At the Janjaweed camp, the men took turns smothering the women's faces in their long, colorful shawls. The victims were told they were the rebels' whores and daughters, they recounted to TIME, and when they cried out, they were threatened with death. As the blistering day gave way to a chill dusk, the women lay there, denied food and water, some sobbing and others asleep from exhaustion. With the morning came the rebels' counterattack. The Janjaweed fled, leaving the women behind.

Nearly 2 1/2 years since fighting erupted between African rebels and government-backed Arab militias in Sudan's western Darfur region, the horror continues. When TIME published a cover story last October on the unfolding genocide against Darfur's non-Arab Muslims, some 50,000 had died and 1.4 million had been forced from their homes. Since then, the war has claimed tens of thousands more; 2.4 million are now displaced.

Large-scale attacks on villages like Khor Abeche are increasingly rare, and Darfur's combatants seem mostly resigned to an uneasy stalemate. Humanitarian access has improved and fewer people are dying, but in the vast swaths of land outside the control of either the government or the rebels, lawlessness prevails. Attacks on trucks and aid convoys make roads too dangerous to travel, and the scared and hungry arrive at swollen relief camps daily. Even then, their safety is not ensured. At Kalma, Darfur's largest camp, refugees complain of government harassment, and women who venture beyond in search of firewood and fodder are often raped.

Rape is a potent symbol of the government's failure to ensure security. After a March report by Doctors Without Borders documented 500 rapes over a four-month period, senior aid workers were arrested for publishing false reports, undermining state security and spying. The charges were eventually dropped, but the government still denies the assertion. In June, Western diplomats and U.N. representatives gathered with aid workers in Kalma to discuss the government's failure to halt the rapes. Even as Sudanese officials contested claims of sexual violence, a slip of paper was handed to an aid worker. Another woman had been raped.

With Khartoum unable or unwilling to provide security, the African Union hopes to increase its peacekeeping force from 2,700 to 7,700 by September. But even that may not be enough to tame an area the size of Texas. Five turbulent rounds of peace talks have made little headway, and frustration and mistrust run high.

he hope is that Sudan's new coalition government, forged in July by the peace deal that ended a separate, 21-year civil war in the south, will succeed where the regime could not. But that prospect took a blow when rebel leader John Garang, the inspiration for Sudan's disaffected, died in a helicopter crash just three weeks after becoming Vice President.

Time is running short. Unrest is growing among Sudan's other marginalized groups, many of which are armed and may not wait for the new government to address their concerns. "How many armies and militias do we have in this country?" asks Hassan al-Turabi, the former speaker of the parliament who fell out with the regime he helped build. "Ten, and even 20 and 30. We are running the risk of disintegration."

For now Khor Abeche, like Darfur itself, lies somewhere between peace and disintegration. It was a ghost town two months ago, but villagers are returning under African Union protection. On a recent day, newly thatched huts stood beside the charred remains of others. As children played among spent gun cartridges in the village square, aid workers from World Vision distributed food under the stripped limbs of a baobab tree. "I feel safe now, but what is safe?" asks Amna, one of the nine raped in April. "I have felt safe before." It's an insecurity that will not easily go away. Several of the women are now pregnant, and their children will be lifelong reminders of Darfur's hatreds.
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Old 08-31-2005, 07:09 AM   #2
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thanks for posting this, MrsS. this is an issue that hasn't received nearly enough attention.

i'm at work and can't really get into it just now. just wanted to say thanks for posting another great thread.

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Old 08-31-2005, 07:10 AM   #3
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thank you
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Old 08-31-2005, 07:48 AM   #4
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Old 08-31-2005, 08:15 AM   #5
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Using the body of a woman as a trophy... or as a way to punish the men of another tribe or community..

I am disguted!

The things that are going on in Darfur are unbearable.

All the dead, the rapes and the violence....
I can't think about what will happen to the people who went through this in the future.
The rage they will have inside ... the pain... all the worst things that can turn to other violence and pain. It's really a scaring vision.

Please, join amnesty's campaigns NOW!
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Old 08-31-2005, 08:26 AM   #6
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there are no words....
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Old 08-31-2005, 09:20 AM   #7
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Yes unconscionable, So what is the UN doing about this? Oh, thats right....NOTHING.
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Old 08-31-2005, 09:46 AM   #8
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What is anyone doing about this...including the US? Oh, that's right...NOTHING.
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Old 08-31-2005, 09:57 AM   #9
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no, no, they have been doing something--debating about whether or not the situation in darfur is technically genocide. and deciding that no, it isn't, thereby justifying their lack of action.

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Old 08-31-2005, 10:04 AM   #10
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We can't specifically blame the UN or the US....everybody is to blame for doing nothing.
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Old 08-31-2005, 10:05 AM   #11
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Oh but I thought the US was supposed to keep out of all the worlds problems? Unless it is genocide or natural disasters(Tsunami) or anything else that a liberal deems righteous enough to use military might.
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Old 08-31-2005, 10:12 AM   #12
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This pisses me off.
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Old 08-31-2005, 10:31 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Abomb-baby
Oh but I thought the US was supposed to keep out of all the worlds problems? Unless it is genocide or natural disasters(Tsunami) or anything else that a liberal deems righteous enough to use military might.
Way to make a sweeping generalization.

So many of these situations and various crises are entirely different, we have to treat each one individually, and pick our "battles"...the US has a strong military force but not an all powerful perfect one.
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Old 08-31-2005, 10:47 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by U2democrat
What is anyone doing about this...including the US? Oh, that's right...NOTHING.

It wouldn't be the first time we've stood by while things like this happened.


I wish we could save everyone, but that's the same line of thinking that's gotten us into so many messes before. Everyone wants our help, but then when we give it, it's, "Oh, you're too late" or, "It's not enough, you guys suck." So, at this point, why should we help?


It's a really fucked up way to go about things, and believe, me I wish we could help everyone and make things better, but I don't see how it's realistic anymore.
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Old 08-31-2005, 10:58 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by Abomb-baby
Yes unconscionable, So what is the UN doing about this? Oh, thats right....NOTHING.
Ask your friend Bolton...
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