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Rape is being used as a weapon of war in Darfur. In 2005, Amnesty International called for international action to stop the violence. They make a series of specific recommendations aimed to stop sexual assault in Darfur.
 

Growing out of investigations of the sexual violence rampant in Darfur, Amnesty International called a range of international actors to action. The Sudanese government's use of rape as a weapon of may be stopped if the actors involved are willing to take necessary steps.

What the Sudanese Government Must Do

  • Immediately stop all attacks against civilians, including women and children,

  • Immediately cease support to and disarming the Janjawid and ensure that they are no longer in a position to attack the civilian population, in accordance with the ceasefire agreement signed on 8 April 2004 and the Joint Communiqué with the United Nations of 3 July 2004,

  • Issue immediate clear instructions to all troops under its command that rape and other forms of sexual violence will not be tolerated; that they are grave criminal offenses and those suspected of being responsible will be investigated and brought to justice,

  • Ensure that allegations of rape and sexual violence committed by the Janjawid, government forces or members of the National Security and military intelligence are promptly, thoroughly and independently investigated; investigations should encompass the ordering or condoning of rape or sexual violence; the findings of such investigations should be made public; those responsible should be brought to justice in trials that meet international standards of fairness, The safety of victims and witnesses should be protected,

  • Suspend immediately, pending investigations, any member of the Sudanese armed forces suspected of having committed or ordered human rights violations,

  • Ensure full reparations, including compensation, restitution, rehabilitation, satisfaction and guarantees of non-repetition for victims of human rights abuses, including rape and sexual violence, and for the relatives of those unlawfully killed or “disappeared”,

  • Take steps to ensuring the security and protection of IDPs in accordance with relevant international standards including the UN Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement, the freedom of movement of civilians in Darfur and protection of the humanitarian nature of IDP settlements. Ensure freedom of movement of all IDPs who wish to seek refuge in Chad.

  • Take immediate and effective measures to facilitate unimpeded humanitarian access to all areas of Darfur,

  • Take effective measures to enable the voluntary return of those IDPs and refugees who make a free and informed choice to return to their original homes in conditions of safety, dignity and full respect for their human rights,

  • Ensure the unhindered and full access of the African Union ceasefire monitors to all areas in Darfur, including civilian areas targeted during the conflict, access to all groups of Darfur, and access to official and secret detention centers

  • Allow an independent and impartial U.N. human rights monitoring mission into all areas of Darfur and Sudan, including burnt and non-burnt villages, access to all groups of Darfur, and access to official and secret detention centers,

  • Agree to and allow full access to an independent international Commission of Inquiry to determine the extent of the war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Darfur and their perpetrators and investigate the nature of the chain of command and allegations of genocide,

  • Ratify and implement without delay the Additional Protocols I and II of the Geneva Convention of 1949,

  • Ratify and implement without delay the Convention of the Elimination of all Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), the Protocol of the African Charter on the Rights of Women in Africa and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child,

  • Ratify without delay the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

What Armed Political Groups in Darfur Must Do

Armed political groups in Darfur (the SLA and JEM) must:

  • Issue clear instructions to all combatants under their control not to commit rape and other forms of sexual violence on women and girls,

  • Publicly state that violence against women is unacceptable, and that women subjected to such violence should not suffer stigma and should be supported by their communities,

  • Uphold international humanitarian law and stop all direct or indiscriminate attacks on civilians and the taking of hostages,

  • Ensure that combatants do not commit human rights abuses against civilians and immediately remove any combatant suspected of abuses against civilians from positions where they could continue to commit such abuses,

  • Publicly commit to ensuring safe and unrestricted access to humanitarian organizations and international human rights monitors in all areas in Darfur,

  • Refrain from forced recruitment amongst civilians and from contributing to a militarization of refugee camps and IDP sites.

What the Government of Chad Must Do

  • In compliance with its obligations as a state party to the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and the 1969 Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa, ensure that all Sudanese refugees in Chad receive adequate protection and assistance,

  • Ensure the security of Sudanese refugees at the border with Sudan, including through increased efforts to, together with UNHCR, relocate all refugees to safer areas away from the border,

  • Refrain from introducing or implementing any measures which would have the effect, directly or indirectly, of forcing, coercing or inducing refugees to involuntarily return to Sudan,

  • Publicly condemn instances of grave human rights abuses committed by any party in Darfur which comes to their attention.

What the African Union Must Do

  • Ensure that the African Union ceasefire observers receive adequate human rights training, including on sexual violence, in order to be able to investigate and report on all attacks on civilians and IDP, including attacks on women, by the Janjawid, government armed forces and other armed groups and make the results public,

  • Condemn all instances of grave abuses of internationally recognized human rights and humanitarian law committed in Darfur,

  • Urge the government of Sudan to comply fully with its obligations under the African Union Constitutive Act, the African Charter and all other relevant regional and international human rights instruments as well as to fully comply with its commitments under the Ceasefire Agreement to protect human rights,

  • Maintain close cooperation with the international community, including the United Nations, in all efforts to ensure peace, security and the protection of human rights in Darfur and to seek support for the deployment of a strong human rights monitoring mission under the mandate of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR),

  • Maintain close cooperation with the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Commission) and other relevant African bodies to end impunity for abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law and ensure the effective protection of all human rights in Darfur. In particular, encourage the African Commission to send a fact-finding mission to investigate human rights abuses in Darfur, as agreed in the decision of 25 May 2004 of the AU Peace and Security Council, and ensure that its findings and recommendations are made public.

What the United Nations Security Council Must Do

The UN Security Council should adopt a resolution on Sudan that;

  • Condemns the war crimes and crimes against humanity resourced, with a clear mandate to investigate ongoing human rights violations in Darfur and monitor the protection of civilians in particular in the IDP camps and to make its findings and recommendations public,

  • Ensures that human rights monitors have gender expertise and publicly report on all allegations of violence against women,

  • Supports measures to ensure that all those responsible for the human rights abuses are brought to justice,

  • Sets up without delay an independent and impartial Commission of Inquiry to determine the extent of the war crimes and crimes against humanity, including rape and other forms of sexual violence committed in Darfur and their perpetrators and investigate the nature of the chain of command and allegations of genocide. The Commission of Inquiry should recommend ways to establish legal accountability of individuals responsible for violations of international human rights and humanitarian law.

  • Imposes a suspension on transfers of military, security and police (MSP) equipment, weaponry, personnel or training to the Sudanese government and all sides to the conflict likely to be used to commit human rights violations in Sudan. This measure must include a strong monitoring mechanism which could investigate possible violations of the suspension of arms transfers and report periodically on its findings.

What UN Member States Must Do

  • Contribute with adequate funding, personnel and equipment of the AU Ceasefire Observer mission,

  • Strongly denounce the grave abuses of women’s rights and other violations of international human rights and humanitarian law in Darfur, and press for the perpetrators to be made accountable,

  • In accordance with the principles of international responsibility and burden-sharing, provide all necessary financial and material assistance to the government of Chad in order to assist it to meet its obligations to provide effective protection to Sudanese refugees on its territory. UN member states should ensure that UNHCR and other agencies providing protection and assistance to refugees in Chad and internally displaced persons in Darfur have sufficient resources to fulfill their mandate, including through the establishment of additional refugee camps.

  • Provide particular care and give attention to vulnerable groups within the refugee population, such as women and children, ensure that medical and psychological counseling is made available to victims of rape and other forms of sexual violence and torture, and address the education needs of refugee children,

  • In particular, provide long-term financial support for women survivors of violence through legal, economic, psychosocial and reproductive health services, as an essential part of emergency assistance and post-conflict reconstruction,

  • Denounce any attempt, whether direct or indirect, to undermine the fundamental principle of non-refoulement,

  • At such time as there is a fundamental, durable and effective change in the places of origin of the refugees and IDPs, provide assistance for the sustainable return in conditions of safety and dignity to their original homes and land of all those who make the voluntary, free and informed choice to return,

  • Increase diplomatic pressure on the Government of Sudan to immediately implement its commitments to protect human rights under the Ceasefire Agreement and the Joint Communiqué with the UN, end the grave human rights violations in Darfur and negotiate a political settlement, with human rights at its heart, for the region of Darfur,

  • Press for the UN to be given a strong human rights monitoring mandate in Darfur and all areas of Sudan. Press for the setting up of an international, independent and impartial Commission of Inquiry to determine the extent of the war crimes and crimes against humanity, including rape and other forms of sexual violence, committed in Darfur and their perpetrators and investigate the nature of the chain of command and allegations of genocide,

  • Suspend transfers of military, security and police (MSP) equipment, weaponry, personnel or training to the Sudanese government and all sides to the conflict likely to be used to commit human rights violations in Sudan.

What Mediators in the Sudan North-South Peace Process Must Do

  • Press the government of Sudan and the SPLA to ensure that the future peacekeeping UN mission in Sudan has a strong human rights monitoring mandate, which should include expertise on gender-based violence and women’s rights,

  • Ensure that all internationally recognized women’s rights and legal accountability for all forms of sexual violence are guaranteed in the implementation of the north-south peace agreement and in a future Sudanese Constitution,

  • Ensure that there will be no impunity for those responsible for widespread sexual violence, war crimes and crimes against humanity in Sudan’s conflicts,

  • Increase diplomatic pressure on both parties to ensure that the new power sharing, government to be set up ratifies and implements without delay the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, the Additional Protocols I and II of the Geneva Convention of 1949 and the Convention of the Elimination of all Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) as one of its first acts. This will be a sign to the people of Sudan that the horrific breaches of humanitarian and human rights law which have happened over the past 20 years will no longer be acceptable.

What the UNHCR Must Do

  • Work with the government of Chad to relocate all Sudanese refugees currently at the Sudan-Chad border to camps situated at least 50 km away from the border. Establish a mechanism to monitor the potential arrival of new refugees at the border, in particular during the rainy season.

  • Ensure that any refugees remaining at the border are provided with adequate protection and assistance, including sufficient food, water and medical aid during the rainy season,

  • Ensure that all other refugees not currently situated in refugee camps, including refugees in urban areas, are provided with adequate protection and assistance,

  • Monitor and provide protection to refugees in Chad and internally displaced persons in Darfur, in particular through the provision of an adequate number of specialist protection officers. Ensure that these staff members have gender expertise and are tasked to pay particular attention to the specific protection needs of vulnerable groups, especially women and children.

  • Provide particular care and give attention to vulnerable groups within the refugee population, such as women and children, ensure that medical and psychological counseling is made available to victims of rape and other forms of sexual violence and torture, and address the education needs of refugee children.

What Humanitarian Agencies Must Do

  • Provide all necessary sanitary equipment to women and girls in all refugee camps in Chad and IDP settlements in Darfur Immediately provide treatment against sexually transmitted infections and antenatal medical consultations for rape survivors to protect the health of women,

  • Pay particular attention to HIV/AIDS in emergency assessments, to ensure that appropriate immediate HIV prevention measures are prioritized; provide care and support to any person who may be living with HIV/AIDS and their children. Special attention must be paid to particularly vulnerable women such as displaced women, adolescents, girls and sex workers.

  • Provide psychological support and reproductive health services for women affected by the conflict, as an integral part of emergency assistance. Special attention should be provided to those who have experienced physical sexual violence, trauma and torture. All agencies providing health support and social services should include psychosocial counseling and referrals.

  • Pay particular attention to providing adequate food supplies for displaced and war-affected women, girls and families in order to protect health and to prevent the sexual exploitation of women and girls. The UNHCR and other UN relief agencies should strengthen capacities to monitor the gender impact of food distribution and ensure that staff distributing food includes a sufficient number of female workers.

  • Particular attention should be given to children born as a result of rape and support should be offered to the mother, in order to ensure that the family or the community do not stigmatize the child or the mother,

  • Pay attention to gender representation in the decision making organs of the camps and ensure that the voices and particular needs of women are being heard.

 
Data and Methods:

Data:

Amnesty International delegates visited Chad in November 2003 in order to interview Sundanese refugees from Darfur. They obtained over 100 testimonies from refugees in three locations along the eastern Chadian border. Amnesty International also obtained the names of more than 1,000 people killed in Darfur and the names of more than 250 women and girls raped in Darfur.

For safety reasons, the real names of all interviewees were changed for the report.

Funding Sources:

Direct funding sources are not provided.

 
Full Text Availability:
Full text of this report is available at
 
Reference

Amnesty International. 2004. Sudan, Darfur: Rape as a Weapon of War: Sexual Violence and Its Consequences. London: AFR 54/076/04.

 
 
 
 
 
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