“Victims of Militia Violations: Shocking and Painful Stories”

The African Century Women’s Network has reported 14 cases of pregnancy resulting from mass rape, considering this number as small due to communication difficulties and challenges in obtaining information. The network also revealed cases of suicide among rape victims.

The Rapid Support Forces are accused of committing serious violations against citizens in areas they occupy in Khartoum, Jazeera, Darfur, and Kordofan, including killings, looting, and rape.

According to a recent report by the network, rape and mass rape are characteristic features of Sudan’s war, which has been ongoing for a full year, with the scope of violations expanding from Khartoum and western and southern Darfur to include villages in the Jazeera region, as well as areas in northern and eastern Sennar and southern Kordofan, and northern Darfur.

The report detailed narratives of some rape victims who showed symptoms of pregnancy and their struggles in dealing with the situation, ranging from determination to terminate it to difficulty in getting rid of it after late discovery.

The report noted that cases of forced and unwanted pregnancies are an expected outcome of systematic rape that has been ongoing in Sudan over the past year.

The network documented and monitored 244 cases of rape and mass rape, with 14 unwanted pregnancies resulting from mass rape identified so far, which they consider a small percentage of the actual numbers due to difficulty in obtaining information because of communication network disruptions and the perilous travel routes and deteriorating security conditions.

Cases of unwanted pregnancies worsen due to the absence of rape protocol, mainly because of the lack of medical care in conflict areas and surrounding regions, even during medical emergencies where sexual violence is one of them.

The report highlighted seven suicide cases among victims from Khartoum, Jazeera, and Sennar states, reflecting the serious health and psychological consequences of the crime.

The African Century Women’s Network emphasized the importance of victims receiving medical and psychological care within 72 hours without obstacles to reduce the risk of sexually transmitted diseases and infections, in addition to accessing urgent means to prevent pregnancy according to international law on sexual violence in times of conflict.

The network noted that although medical care is available in some hospitals in Khartoum state, the risks of accessing them seem significant due to their insecurity and being under the control of criminals, hindering victims’ ability to seek medical care.

The network’s report mentioned that safe havens for victims lack prepared reception or health institutions and social services, and they lack legal aid to deal with victims of sexual violence, a situation that existed before the war and worsened afterward.

It also pointed out the weak response of international organizations concerned with protection issues and United Nations agencies, with existing staff in hospitals and social care facilities lacking sufficient knowledge of healthcare and necessary initial measures to deal with rape victims. The network added, “All these factors contribute to the high rates of unwanted pregnancy.”

The network urged women’s organizations to pressure warring parties and the Rapid Support Forces to open safe passages for civilians, especially women and children, and called for allowing civil society, humanitarian organizations, and the United Nations to form oversight bodies on safe passages out of conflict areas.

It called for support and funding from donors to establish clinics and safe rooms in cooperation with civil society and specialized entities in safe states to enable immediate medical response to rape cases and provide psychological care and services. It also advocated for issuing publications allowing emergency response without the need to file police reports or prosecution in case of accessing healthcare services requiring medical intervention.

The African Century Women’s Network called for investing in and funding the establishment of shelters for mothers and their children, centers for unaccompanied children, and working to support alternative families for children in cases of rejection due to rape crimes.

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