Subscribe: IRIN - Children
Added By: Feedage Forager Feedage Grade B rated
Language: English
fled  ituri  migration  people  rape  raped  refugee  refugees  rohingya  sexual violence  sudanese  told  uganda  violence     
Rate this Feed
Rate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feed
Rate this feed 1 starRate this feed 2 starRate this feed 3 starRate this feed 4 starRate this feed 5 star

Comments (0)

Feed Details and Statistics Feed Statistics
Preview: IRIN - Children

IRIN - Human Rights


For victims of the Ituri conflict’s sexual violence, aid is scarce

Tue, 20 Mar 2018 16:28:43 +0000

Around 8pm one January night, the bullets started flying through the village of Blukwa, in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Ituri Province. It was just one incident in a wave of violence that has flared up in the region in recent months, forcing tens of thousands of people to flee. As with conflicts elsewhere in Congo, rape and other forms of sexual violence feature prominently in the Ituri attacks, in which hundreds of people have been killed. But for many women and girls who have fled to Uganda, care for their physical and psychological wounds is hard to come by – even when they are willing to seek it out, overlooking the stigma often attached to victims of sexual violence. Read more: IRIN’s in-depth reporting on Ituri   Support includes identifying survivors; providing access to psychosocial, medical, and legal services; training health workers in clinical management of rape; and supplying post-rape kits to health facilities. As Dismas Nkunda, the executive director of Atrocities Watch Africa, noted, Uganda is known for its “robust” refugee regime, one that now accommodates around 1.4 million people who have fled neighbouring countries. “Providing appropriate support for survivors of rape is mandatory for any refugee protection regime anywhere in the world, so there should be no excuse whatsoever for failure to support these victims,” he said. Francisca Vigaud-Walsh, senior advocate for women and girls at Refugees International, said the reasons for the unmet needs are clear. “It is unsurprising that there is a limited number of services for rape survivors arriving from Ituri into Uganda,” she said. “The humanitarian response in Uganda is woefully underfunded, and limited resources are now being diverted to the cholera response,” she said. "When I returned back home in the morning I thought I would find my husband and son… They were no more. They had been killed the same night I was terribly raped.” Rape: One survivor’s story Speaking recently from Kyangwali, a sprawling Ugandan settlement for refugees, one  former resident of Blukwa recalled the January night she fled. The woman, who did not want to use her name, said she and her husband heard shooting and he went to investigate. “We should run to save our lives,” he told her as he returned to the house. “He grabbed our son and ran with him,” she recalled. “I tried to follow, but I lost touch. It was dark. “I couldn’t call them, so I decided to go my separate way to hide. While I was in the bush, I heard and saw two people coming towards my direction. They had guns; I knew I was dead. “I tried to plead with them to spare me. They couldn’t listen. They undressed and raped me. One covered my mouth while the other raped me. After he finished, his colleague came and did the same. They raped me without any mercy. They threatened to kill me if I ever shouted. “After raping me, they left. I remained in the bush with a lot of pain. When I returned back home in the morning I thought I would find my husband and son… They were no more. They had been killed the same night I was terribly raped.” Exhausted and hungry, she said she managed the two-day walk to the shores of Lake Albert and boarded a boat to Uganda, where some 50,000 people from Ituri have sought refuge this year. According to an official at a Ugandan reception centre cited by the aid agency CARE last month, nine out of every 10 women arriving had been raped, sometimes more than once, and sometimes by gangs – both inside Congo and as they fled to Uganda. “All these women who make it here were victims of rape and other forms of gender based violence,” said the unnamed official. Addressing the gap in aid for victims of sexual violence, Vigaud-Walsh said: “In part, Uganda and its humanitarian partners simply cannot keep up with the unrelenting number of refugees that continue to stream in from the DRC and South Sudan, not to mention Burundians that have fled persecution into Uganda. The OPM (Office of the Prime Minister) scandal, with regards to refug[...]

Myanmar levels former Rohingya villages to build camp for returnees

Tue, 30 Jan 2018 09:49:11 +0000

Myanmar has bulldozed entire Rohingya villages to make way for a massive camp at the centre of a stalled plan to house returning refugees, an analysis of new satellite imagery shows. One rights group describes the imagery as evidence of an escalating push to demolish former Rohingya land and militarise vast swathes of northern Rakhine State – the flashpoint for violence that last year drove out more than 671,000 Rohingya refugees to Bangladesh. An analysis of satellite images done for IRIN by UNOSAT, a United Nations programme that produces humanitarian mapping, shows extensive land clearance and new construction near Hla Poe Kaung village in Rakhine’s Maungdaw Township. Myanmar authorities have identified the area as the site of a planned camp that would house returning Rohingya refugees. The imagery shows that over seven weeks, from early January to late February, at least four villages in the area were almost completely levelled, leaving little trace of the Rohingya homes that once stood there. At least 110 new buildings and what appear to be two helicopter landing pads were constructed in that time, according to the analysis, which estimated that at least 240 hectares of land had been cleared.     Meanwhile, over the past three years, the Sudanese government has made it clear it expects the EU to provide funds and equipment for its migration control efforts.    The head of the RSF, Mohamed Hamdan, regularly boasts about the RSF’s role in assisting the EU. He recently told Al Jazeera: “[The EU] lose[s] millions in fighting migration, that's why [it has] to support us."   The EU ambassador to the Sudan, Jean-Michel Dumond, rejects criticism of Europe’s relationship with Khartoum. “We have been accused of all the sins of the world, and it’s quite clear we have never cooperated with the RSF – we have no link,” he told IRIN. “[EU] aid is given [under] very clear conditions.”   Meanwhile, former border control officials from European countries are arriving in Khartoum as consultants, replacing development experts in some international agencies. One of the latest EU-funded projects is a Regional Command Center in Khartoum (ROCK), to be run by Civipol out of the Sudanese police training compound.   “The migration issue is becoming like the Darfur crisis, it’s a business,” said Fatima, a Sudanese journalist covering migration who also pointed to the creation of numerous new government charities that have started turning up at migration-related meetings. “Everyone wants a piece of the pie,” she added.   “Where to keep them?”   Yusef, an Eritrean refugee, tried to head to Europe in 2014 via Libya, but was returned to the Sudanese border by a militia in Libya. There, he was arrested, along with hundreds of other refugees.   The Sudanese border guards brought Yusef to the northern town of Dongola that now serves as an informal detention facility for refugees captured at the border.   On the three-day journey, Yusef alleges that over 50 people died from lack of food, water, and medical care. Their pleas for help went unanswered. “We told them our friends are dying, are thirsty, hungry, suffering. They don’t protect you,” he told IRIN.   In Dongola, Yusef was kept in a large compound along with hundreds of other people. Eight Bangladeshi men in the facility paid and were immediately released, along with a number of Somalis and Sudanese. But the Eritreans and Ethiopians were detained for a month.   Yusef said he counted nine people who died due to lack of medical care. Representatives of the UN visited – a team of four foreigners with an Eritrean translator – and told the inmates that if they had a refugee card they could go back to the Shagarab refugee camp in eastern Sudan, or else they would be deported.   Yusef had a refugee card but did not trust the UN or the Sudanese government to protect him. To avoid being sent back to Eritrea, where he could likely face torture and imprisonment, Yusef claimed to be Ethiopian. He was deported to [...]