Rape as a mechanism of genocide in Darfur


About a month ago, Sudanese soldiers stormed into the Tabit village in Darfur, violently expelling all the men and, over a few hours, brutally raping 200 women and girls. Among the victims of rape were 80 minors, of whom 8 were elementary school students. A week after the attack, a commander in the Sudanese army returned to the village—seemingly to “apologize” for what had transpired, but in reality to demand that the rape victims be transferred to a military hospital. This way he could hide them.

The mass rape was part of a systematic and brutal campaign in which thousands of women, teenagers, and girls have been raped in Darfur—a campaign engineered by soldiers of the Sudanese army and militias associated with the regime in Khartoum. It constitutes another expression of the systematic annihilation of African tribes in Darfur at the hands of the Sudanese government—a genocide that has raged for over 11 years.

In the report we recently published, Darfur 2014: A Situational Report, 182 similar cases of rape were reported in 2013. In another incident that took place this past June, Sudanese soldiers were reported to have raped upward of 20 women, and in September there were reports of 45 women raped by pro-government militiamen in Jabal-Mara, while 8 more women raped in northern Darfur.

As a direct consequence of the daily indifference to the genocide in Darfur, this attack went almost completely unnoticed—not a single scream reached the ears of the policymakers, and as such the women of Darfur, alongside the Yazidi women (as we have witnessed in recent months), are the most miserable victims of these murderous villains. Today the world marks United Nations-designated International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. In order to break the silence and disrupt this pattern of events, we are obliged to raise our voices—we must be voices for the women who are forever voiceless.