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Three women, two minors victims of series of rape in North Darfur

August 18 - 2015 TABIT
(file photo)
(file photo)

Several sexual assaults occurred in the vicinity of Tabit in Tawila locality, North Darfur, over the past three days, in which five women became the victims. There were two minors among them.

The first incident occurred at the farms near Khor Mali on Sunday. A woman farmer reported that four militiamen, “guarding new settlers in the area”, raped three women who were tilling the farms. “They then stole two of their donkeys.”

The farmer reported another incident involving a 14-year-old girl, who was raped at Bir Bougie, 15km south of Tabit, on Monday at midday. “Two militiamen assaulted her and brutally raped her near the pump. They left her bleeding.”

On Tuesday morning, a 9-year-old was raped near Masalit village, some 12km west of Tabit. The perpetrators were allegedly shepherds.

The men then kidnapped four girls from Rahad Miri, a pond east of Masalit, and stole 20 sheep and four donkeys at about 10 in the morning. The girls were released six hours later, at 4pm, when an elder intervened.

The mother of one of the girls later told Radio Dabanga that the abducted girls say that none of them were raped by the shepherds, but they returned on foot without the sheep and donkeys.

“The shepherds released them without raping them when a senior camel herder intervened, and ordered them to release the girls. They have kept the cattle and donkeys.”

The woman farmer speaking to Radio Dabanga on Monday appealed to lawyers and jurists to start providing legal aid voluntarily to the under-aged sexual violence victims. “File complaints, provide aid, and protect them.”

Sexual violence against women who tend farms escalated in the last week of July, as nine were raped near Tabit and Dolma in East Jebel Marra. A relative of one of the victims told Radio Dabanga that the rapes were often carried out by militant new settlers.

These new settlers in East Jebel Marra – according to witnesses, thousands of them – are armed militia members or migrants from neighbouring countries. Their occupation is often accompanied by violence against the remaining or returning residents. With the start of the rainy season, more of the displaced people have the need to return home, to work on their farms. This consequently caused a rise in the number of incidents in which militiamen killed or attacked men or sexually assaulted women going out to farm.

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