In the News

More Rape Cases Cited in a Somalia Camp

  • 11 November 2011

NAIROBI โ€” Deteriorating security, a culture of impunity and an increase in attacks on internally displaced people in the central Somali town of Galkayo, Mudug region, have resulted in a sharp increase in rape cases, gender activists told IRIN.

"Attacks on women have gone up dramatically in the last two months and the severity of the attacks has become worse," said Silje Heitmann, the UNFPA gender-based violence specialist for south-central Somalia.

Many of the rape survivors live in IDP camps in the town, in flimsy shelters that often do not have doors or other structures that would deter an attacker. Gender activists also attributed the increase in rape to a deterioration of security, with armed gangs of young men roaming about the town, often high on khat (a natural stimulant), and frequently able to get away with raping women who have no clan support.

Sado Mohamud Isse, an activist, told IRIN clashes between Puntland forces and a clan militia in early September in Galkayo contributed to the increase in rape.

"The clashes forced many families to flee the town, creating conditions that gangs of young men exploited," Isse said, adding that impunity was another factor. "Almost all the rapists get away with it and know they can get away with it. So they commit these crimes without any fear of repercussions."

To read the full report, go to IRIN

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