The war on women goes on worldwide. Darfur is especially horrific.
From the BBC:
Women demand end to Darfur rapes
International stateswomen have made a joint call for an end to rape and
sexual violence in Sudan’s conflict-torn region of Darfur.
Peacekeepers must be sent to protect women there, the group said in a letter published by newspapers worldwide.
Signatories include former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and theIrish former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson.
The call comes as protests on the issue are planned in 40 countries.
The letter says rape is being used “on a daily basis” as a weapon of war in
The main signatories were joined by other prominent women including:
* veteran Palestinian politician Hanan Ashrawi
* Graca Machel, wife of Nelson Mandela
* Edith Cresson, former French prime minister
* Glenys Kinnock, a UK member of the European Parliament
* Carol Bellamy, former head of the UN children’s fund.
Published on the eve of the Global Day for Darfur, the letter says that”women and young girls live in constant fear of attack”.
Sudan’s government is accused of being “unwilling or unable to protect its own civilians”.
The international community is called upon to “deliver on its responsibility to protect these civilians”.
Events to mark Darfur Day are due to take place in more than 40 countries and will include women-led protests outside Sudanese embassies.
The BBC’s Jonah Fisher, in Khartoum, says the three-year war in Darfur has been characterised by rape and violence against women, mostly by the pro-government Arab Janjaweed militia.
The protests around the world will have no direct impact on the Sudanese government, he adds.
The government views the three-year crisis in Darfur as a Western invention, insisting that just 9,000 people have died.
It also denies reports of widespread rape, pointing out that the people of Darfur are Muslim and, therefore, incapable of rape.
In reality, though, at least 200,000 people have died in Darfur’s and an estimated two million people, mostly black Africans whose villages have been attacked by the Janjaweed, have fled their homes.
Khartoum denies accusations it is backing the militias to put down an uprising by Darfur’s rebel groups in 2003.
A force of 7,000 African Union peacekeepers has struggled to protect civilians in the absence of a strong, UN contingent.