5 January 2011

Sudan: UN-African Mission Confirms One Case of Rape During Camp Disturbance

A human rights team from the joint United Nations-African Union mission verified that one rape occurred when Government paramilitaries and police started shooting in the air at a camp market in Sudan's war-torn Darfur region last month, a UN spokesman said today.

Two human rights officers from the mission (UNAMID) were sent to Tawilla camp to verify reports of rapes and other abuses during and after the shooting incident on 25 December. At the time UNAMID military intervened and persuaded the Government forces to leave the market.

According to reports, a 19-year-old girl was raped, a 60-year old woman was robbed and beaten, and a 12-year-old boy was also beaten. All three were treated at the UNAMID Team Site clinic in Tawilla and then went home.

The human rights team verified that one rape occurred but there is no confirmation of suspected perpetrators, spokesman Martin Nesirky told a briefing at UN Headquarters in New York. The team is now compiling its report which will be ready tomorrow.

UNAMID was set up to protect civilians and quell the violence in Darfur, where nearly seven years of fighting between the Government, its militia supporters and rebel groups seeking greater benefits for the vast region, has killed at least 300,000 people and driven 2.7 million others from their homes.

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