UN Report on Sexual Violence During Conflict Singles Out Worst Offenders

 

UN News Centre
February 23, 2012

 

The annual United Nations report documenting conflict-related sexual violence around the world today for the first time names some of the military forces, militia and other armed groups that are suspected of being among the worst offenders.

The groups listed in the report include the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in the Central African Republic (CAR) and in South Sudan, armed militia groups and former armed forces in Côte d’Ivoire, and the armed forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

The report provides examples of how sexual violence has threatened security and impeded peacebuilding in post-conflict situations, such as in Chad, CAR, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Timor-Leste, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and how it has been used in the context of elections, political strife and civil unrest in Egypt, Guinea, Kenya and Syria, among others.

“Conflict-related sexual violence is not specific to one country or continent: it is a global risk. The terror of unarmed women facing armed men is age-old and universal,” said the Secretary-General’s Special Representative Margot Wallström, who presented the report to the Security Council in New York.

The report stresses that over the past year there have been several new and ongoing armed conflicts where sexual violence was widespread and, in some instances, may have been systematically targeted at civilians by armed forces and armed groups with the intent of punishing, and humiliating the population.

To read the full article at the UN News Centre click here.

To read the Report of the U. N. Secretary-General on Conflict-Related Sexual Violence (A/66/657 – S/2012/33), click here.

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Gloria Steinem on Rape in War, Its Causes, and How to Stop It

Lauren Wolfe
The Atlantic
February 8, 2012

It doesn’t matter where you look; sexualized violence is intrinsic to conflict. Qaddafi’s soldiers committed rape in the last days of Libya’s regime. The Egyptian military has been sexually violating female journalists and protesters in that revolution. Across the Democratic Republic of Congo, hundreds of thousands of women are suffering the fallout of the sexualized violence that has torn apart their bodies, their families, and their communities.

A new project from the Women’s Media Center, initiated by one of its founders, journalist and activist Gloria Steinem, has begun documenting this tool of war and genocide. From the Holocaust through today, Women Under Siege is illuminating the causes as well as the cures of sexualized violence by uncovering patterns and making links between them.

As the director of Women Under Siege, as well as a journalist myself, I interviewed Steinem about sexualized violence in conflict and what needs to be done to understand and stop it.

To read the full interview at theAtlantic.com, click here.

Rapes Are Again Reported in Eastern Congo

 

Jeffrey Gettelman
The New York Times
February 25, 2011

More than 40 people, including men, women and children, have been raped in the past two weeks in eastern Congo in roughly the same area as a series of rapes earlier this year, United Nations officials said on Friday.

On two separate occasions, the victims were coming back from the market in large groups when they were attacked, aid workers said, and the most likely culprits were rebel forces hiding out in the thickly forested hills of the eastern areas of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

To read the full story in the New York Times, click here.