The Sudanese Women Union (SWU) in Khartoum, and the Geneva-based Darfur Aid and Documentation Centre welcomed the report, released by Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Wednesday, on the mass rape in Tabit, North Darfur, last year.
Adeela El Zebag, Head of the SWU, told Dabanga on Friday that “the state of Sudan is the primary actor in committing the crime.
“The state is to be held responsible for the rape of reportedly 221 women and girls in the North Darfuri town during the last days of October, as the perpetrators were under state protection. Besides, state authorities have attempted to bar Unamid peacekeepers from accessing Tabit, in an effort to cover the facts, and conceal the crime.”
“Even in Khartoum, women and girls are sexually harassed by government forces.”
El Zebag stressed that the government in Khartoum is using rape as a weapon against the opposition forces in Darfur, the Nuba Mountains in South Kordofan, and the Blue Nile state. “Even in Khartoum, women and girls from these conflict zones are sexually harassed by government forces.”
She called upon the international community to protect women from the Khartoum regime, “whose hostility against women began since it seized power in a military coup in 1989”. She stressed the need to bring the perpetrators to justice, “which can only be realised by ousting the ruling National Congress Party”.
The Darfur Aid and Documentation Centre described the HRW report as “true and fair”. The head of the centre, Jibril Abdelbagi told Dabanga that the report was issued “at a time when everyone needs it”.
He called upon the UN Security Council to pressure the Sudanese government to “conduct an independent investigation by an independent international committee. Those who violated the rights of the Sudanese people are to be held accountable, and tried immediately”.