Rape as an Act of Genocide: From Rwanda to Iraq UNITED NATIONS, Nov 17 2016
Margaret Dongo has written on the rape of female combatants during the struggle. Debate goes on as to whether Mujuru was raped and why she is silent.
Does it surprise us then that the culture of rape is just embedded in our societies? The history of Zimbabwe is now marred by sexual violence on women and girls. Sexual violence has become pervasive in all sections of our societies. This is evidenced in social media that sustains the fact that: in Zimbabwe, every 90 minutes, a baby, a toddler, a child a girl, a young woman, a mother a grandmother is sexually mutilated, assaulted, experience sexual violence. It is therefore undeniable that rape is now the culture, the epidemic of rapes. You need to trace the origins of it; you will find that it came with the liberation struggle, from those liberation movements that purport to have liberated us.
When it comes to sexual abuse of women all the liberation movements are found wanting, are answerable to abuse and rape. So many young women died in cross fire because they have been abducted from their homes, some even forced to leave their homes, and going to the liberation war was in most cases not voluntary but were forced to go with the freedom fighters to neighbouring countries sorely as sex mules on their way to the designated freedom camps.
Is that not the irony of history? When the young girls were used and abused, were rotated, exchanged from one freedom fighter to the next, they are now then termed not only loose girls but criminals as they caused deaths of war commanders and freedom fighters. I know some girls who came to the struggle as virgins; they lost their v*rginity in most barbaric forms of abuse on girls. Most girls were abducted from schools under the pretext they wanted to go to war and fight for their freedom. So many women died of abortions, after the rape ordeal, some got pregnant, tried to abort using those non-clinical methods, died due to uncontrolled bleeding and infections. All these stories must be told without fear of retribution.
Persistence of rape in our societies has even attributed to misconceptions about abuse and rape of young girls, rape can cure HIV/AIDS! This HIV/AIDS cure culture of rape has desensitized men, they lack respect for women and growing girls and toddlers.
To women, Zimbabwe is indeed becoming one of the most dangerous places in the Sub-Sahara. Alone going to the fields to work, or travelling long distances to get food, water, fuel can be a very dangerous exercise, that is where girls get raped in most cases. In Zimbabwe rape is still used as a form of torture, just yesterday an article was on social media regarding Pastor Evan Mawarire; was threatened that his wife will be raped and his children abducted! That is a “democratic Zimbabwe” for you.
In Zimbabwe, most men rape: members of parliament, police, pastors, fathers, brothers, cousins, uncles, guardians, soldier’s rape women and young girls. Just yesterday we read in the social media: some Prophet Walter Magaya was arrested and arraigned before the court over rape allegations. The next day: Women’s Affairs, Gender and Community Development Minister Nyasha Chikwinya was part of the congregation that cheered Prophet Magaya as he walked in that auditorium. For once I am speechless! This is Zanu PF Minister for Women’s Affairs who shows not sensitivity towards what is happening to women in her portfolio!
During the struggle for the liberation of Zimbabwe, there was absence of law against violence on women and young girls in war zones. When some freedom fighters entered the country and they saw girls and young women, they automatically felt it was their right and they could be violated and raped. At the front, there was absolute lawlessness taking place in most villages. They would order the villagers to cook for them, ordered to slaughter the last goat or chickens.
Not all freedom fighters raped sure. After meals they selected the young women they found good for them, mostly young ones were preferred. “THEY WANTED IT, THEY NEEDED IT, THEY HAD IT THEIR WAY” Otherwise it was all-night pungwes resulting in alarming Smith’s soldiers that came and randomly bombed the civilian villages mostly, as the freedom fighters will have sneaked away leaving the villagers vulnerable to military abuse by the Rhodesian soldiers. These are stories that should be told about the freedom war in Zimbabwe.
Because rape is closely related to conflicts, all kinds of rape were committed in pre- independence era: punitive, rape, status rape, exchange rape, involuntary abduction of individuals as sex slaves. Under normal circumstances some war commanders are supposed to face crime against humanity meted on women and girls during the struggle. Immediately after independence there was genocide rape of barbaric proportions in Mathebelelands and Midlands. Most women got pregnant leaving children who do not have birth certificates to this day. Some women never want to come forward and admit that they were indeed raped during the Gugurahundi atrocities.
It’s high time; however, we women came up with our stories of abuse in these liberation movements. Abuse and rape of women during the bush war has been kept under the carpet for too long and nobody dares to say the truth about what really transpired for fear of being labelled unpatriotic. It’s not patriotism to sexually abuse women dear comrades. The question is why were women recruited and by abducting them in these liberation movements. These military men wanted women in their midst to serve them as sex slaves. Let all those painful stories be told so that our future generation know that freedom through the barrel of the gun has some serious social consequences, can affect the most vulnerable niches; women and children.
Independence of Zimbabwe overshadowed serious issues relating to the abuse of women during the struggle. Women too are scared to come forward and tell it how they were abused by the people who purported to liberate them. This violence against women and girls and children today is wholly the product of our past liberation conflict, the struggle to liberate Zimbabwe: women and girls paid the absolute price.
Women please come forward and tell it all, only then can this country heal. The coming dispensation has a big task of demilitarising the minds of comrades, sensitize and respect towards women, girls, toddlers, and babies. Sex with a virgin is not a cure for HIV/AIDS.
Una guerra dimenticata si continua a combattere in Sud Sudan. A luglio nella capitale Giuba si è scatenata un’ondata di violenza senza precedenti e oggi Amnesty International ha reso noto un suo nuovo rapporto sulla situazione nel quale l’organizzazione accusa le forze governative sud-sudanesi di deliberate uccisioni di civili, stupri di donne e ragazze e saccheggi.
”Le truppe governative hanno ucciso uomini del gruppo etnico nuer, stuprato donne e ragazze e condotto una massiccia campagna di saccheggi”, ha detto Joanne Mariner, alta consulente per la risposta alle crisi di Amnesty International. ”Questi attacchi costituiscono un’ulteriore prova di quanto sia urgente imporre un embargo sulle armi dirette al Sud Sudan e istituire meccanismi efficaci per monitorarne il rispetto. Gli stati non dovrebbero fare affari con armi che vengono usate per uccidere i civili”, ha aggiunto.
Amnesty International ha reso noto il suo rapporto alla vigilia di una missione in Sud Sudan del Consiglio per la pace e la sicurezza dell’Unione africana (Aupsc), in programma dal 28 al 30 ottobre. L’organizzazione per i diritti umani ha chiesto che l’Auspc si occupi delle violenze di luglio e agisca per assicurare l’istituzione di un tribunale ibrido indipendente in grado di indagare e punire questi ed altri crimini.
Una 24enne di etnia dinka, il cui marito nuer risulta scomparso da luglio, ha raccontato ad Amnesty International che le truppe governative sono entrate nella loro abitazione portando via il marito e il cognato. Quando ha provato a spiegare che i due uomini lavoravano per il governo, si è sentita rispondere che anche se fosse stato vero, erano comunque dei nuer e ”i nuer sono ribelli”. I soldati hanno anche dato la caccia alle donne nuer per stuprarle: non solo per far loro del male ma anche per punire e umiliare i loro mariti.
Le ricerche di Amnesty International hanno messo in evidenza la risposta, definita ”sconcertante e inadeguata”, delle forze di peacekeeping delle Nazioni Unite, che non hanno saputo proteggere i civili dalle uccisioni e dagli stupri.
Sud Sudan in preda alle violenze, le accuse di Amnesty in un nuovo rapporto 27 OTTOBRE 2016 Maria Novella Topi
SOUTH SUDAN: "WE DID NOT BELIEVE WE WOULD SURVIVE": KILLINGS, RAPE AND LOOTINGS IN JUBA Amnesty International,
- The rape of women and girls as an act of war is on the rise in Darfur.
- The Janjaweed are raping, beating, torturing and murdering women all over the Darfur region.
- Women are raped regularly at road blocks, check points, while fleeing, or during routine village raids.
- Rape is committed publicly in front of a victims husband, family, or village.
- The UN Darfur Task Force reports that gang rapes are also prevalent
- Pregnant women are attacked and either loose their babies due to forcible rape or are brutalized so badly that the child cannot survive
- Many women are abducted by the Janjaweed and forced to travel with them as sex slaves. They are threatened or tortured if they do not comply with demands.
- Women are even being raped in refugee camps. If the men leave the camps they risk being killed, and if the women leave they risk being raped and beaten.
- Eagle Eye on Darfur