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Last Updated: Monday, 19 July, 2004, 08:03 GMT 09:03 UK
Testimonies of rape in Sudan
Darfur refugees
More than a million people in Sudan have fled their homes
Pro-government Janjaweed militias in Sudan's Darfur region are using mass rape in order to punish, humiliate and control the non-Arab groups to which they belong, says human rights group Amnesty International.

In its report Rape as a Weapon of War, Amnesty publishes the testimonies of some of the hundreds of women its researchers have spoken to:

Singing

I was sleeping when the attack on Disa [village] started. I was taken away by the attackers, they were all in uniforms. They took dozens of other girls and made us walk for three hours. During the day we were beaten and they were telling us: "You, the black women, we will exterminate you, you have no god." At night we were raped several times. The Arabs guarded us with arms and we were not given food for three days.
Female refugee from Disa

When we tried to escape they shot more children. They raped women; I saw many cases of Janjaweed raping women and girls. They are happy when they rape. They sing when they rape and they tell that we are just slaves and that they can do with us how they wish.
A, a 37-year-old from Mukjar


In many cases, women have been raped in public, in front of their husbands, relatives, or the wider community, Amnesty says. This is in order to humiliate her, her family and the entire group.

There was also another rape on a young single girl, aged 17. M was raped by six men in front of her house in front of her mother. M's brother, S, was then tied up and thrown into fire.
H, a 35-year-old man from Mukjar.

In July 2003, the Arabs raped M, 14, on the market square and threatened to shoot on the witnesses if they tried to intervene. They also raped other girls in the bush.
S, a 28-year-old from Habila region.

The six men raped my daughter, who is 25 years old, in front of me, my wife and the young children.
H, a man from Magarsa.

Pregnant women

Amnesty says that pregnant women have not been spared.

I was with another woman, Aziza, aged 18, who had her stomach slit on the night we were abducted. She was pregnant and was killed as they said: "it is the child of an enemy".
An ethnic Irenga woman from Garsila village.

Killed

At 7am in August 2003, our village was surrounded by the Janjaweed; we heard machine guns and most of the people ran away, some were killed while trying to escape. My sister, M, aged 43, was captured by the military and the Janjaweed. They tried to sleep with her. She resisted, I was present and could hear her: "I will not do something like this even if you kill me" and they immediately killed her.
I, from Miski.

Legs broken

The attack took place at 8am on 29 February 2004 when soldiers arrived by car, camels and horses. The Janjaweed were inside the houses and the soldiers outside. Some 15 women and girls who had not fled quickly enough were raped in different huts in the village. The Janjaweed broke the limbs (arms or legs) of some women and girls to prevent them from escaping. The Janjaweed remained in the village for six or seven days. After the rapes, the Janjaweed looted the houses.
N, a 30-year-old from Um Baru.
A child at a refugee camp in Chad walks his donkey
Even in Chad, refugees are not safe from Janjaweed attacks

They took KM, who is 12 years old in the open air. Her father was killed by the Janjaweed in Um Baru, the rest of the family ran away and she was captured by the Janjaweed who were on horseback. More than six people used her as a wife; she stayed with the Janjaweed and the military more than 10 days. K, another woman who is married, aged 18, ran away but was captured by the Janjaweed who slept with her in the open place, all of them slept with her. She is still with them. A, a teacher, told me that they broke her leg after raping her.
A, a 66-year-old farmer from Um Baru.

Disowned

Married women are sometimes rejected by their husbands after being raped.

Single women may never be able to find husbands due to the stigma. They are seen as "spoiled", Amnesty says.

S, from Silaya says she was abducted along with eight other women:

After six days some of the girls were released. But the others, as young as eight years old were kept there. Five to six men would rape us in rounds, one after the other for hours during six days, every night. My husband could not forgive me after this, he disowned me.

We believe that nobody can become pregnant when raped, because this is unwanted sex and you cannot have a child from unwanted sex. For those who are in the camps in Darfur, those whom they rape day and night, they might become pregnant. Then only Allah can help the child to look like the mother. If an Arab child is born, this cannot be accepted.
A refugee from Kenyu.

If they become pregnant they must escape, they cannot stay in their family or in their community. Why? Because it is not normal for her to be pregnant from being raped, so she has to go.
K, a 40-year-old woman from Jaroko.

Early marriage

Amnesty says that even in refugee camps, women are not safe from sexual violence.

Parents fear they may not be able to "control" their daughters and try to marry them off quickly to preserve the family honour. As a result bride prices (money paid by a groom's family) are falling.

Marriage is very very cheap in our days.
A refugee in Goz Amir camp, Chad.

Impunity

Amnesty says that almost all of the rapes were carried out with either the direct involvement or in view of government forces and yet no-one has been charged with rape or abduction.

One woman said she was raped outside a refugee camp in western Darfur in June 2004. She reported it to the police and the men were arrested and disarmed.

But she says their weapons were returned the next day following the intervention of Janjaweed leaders and she was told not to make any further reports.

She regularly sees the men who raped her in the market.

Amnesty calls for an international commission of inquiry into the conflict in Darfur, including claims that the widespread rapes are part of a campaign of genocide against the region's non-Arab population.


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