The tragedy of war rapes in Sudan: what can be done?

Sometimes your heart breaks. Your heart breaks from the pain and suffering in the world around you that seems close to ineradicable.

Consider this. The chief prosecutor at the International Criminal Court in The Hague recommended last July that a warrant be issued for the arrest of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. He would be accused of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in Darfur. Torching and looting of towns and villages continue; five million Darfuris are either living in refugee camps or fully dependent on aid. Eleven humanitarian workers have been killed this year and 179 kidnapped (source: The Economist).

And this is where your heart breaks:

Already, NGOs on the ground in Darfur are suffering from a government backlash prompted by the ICC charges against Mr Bashir. Harassment by security officials has got much worse. The goons have spent days in NGO offices haranguing staff to hand over sensitive documents and computer files which, they suspect, could have been used as evidence against Mr Bashir. In particular, officials have been targeting projects that help women recover from sexual violence. The massive use of rape as a weapon in the army’s counter-insurgency war is a critical part of the ICC case. If a warrant is issued, the harassment will surely worsen to the point where many counselling projects will be shut down, as at least one has been already.

Rape is an act of war, and the Court seeks justice; but the act of seeking justice may leave rape victims even more helpless than they are now.

What can be done? What in the world can be done?

One thought on “The tragedy of war rapes in Sudan: what can be done?

  1. Pingback: War rapes: an international overview « Live from Planet Paola

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