Nov 282007

All Africa has an excellent piece about violence against women in post-conflict Sierra Leone which provides an important example of how the violence against women that is exacerbated by military conflict continues long after the conflict itself ends:

“In a 1 November report Amnesty International said the legacy of the “unimaginable brutality” against women during the country’s 1991-2002 civil war feeds violence against them today. During the war, some 250,000 women and girls – about a third of the female population – were brutally raped, tortured and kept as sex slaves, the report said.

“Rape is the only war violation that continues to today,” Amnesty’s Sierra Leone researcher Tania Bernath told IRIN.”

“Even in cases where a chief considers domestic violence or sexual assault charges, the approach is generally to mediate in what is considered a family dispute. “There is still this idea that cases should be kept in the family,” Bernath said.

In its recent report Amnesty said this only feeds the problem. “Mediation in rape cases contributes to impunity and facilitates state evasion of the obligation to ensure that violence against women is prosecuted.””

 November 28, 2007  Posted by on November 28, 2007

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