SUDAN -- The Government of the Sudan must protect women and children from sexual and gender-based violence, says a new report from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights that details cases of abduction, rape and sexual violence in South Darfur.
The report, a follow-up to one issued in April 2007, contains testimonies from victims and eyewitnesses describing how women were abducted, kept as sex slaves or subjected to other human rights violations in Deribat and surrounding towns by the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and affiliated groups. These and other violations occurred in late December 2006 in the wake of air and ground attacks on civilians in the area.
The report, prepared in cooperation with the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS), stresses the Government’s responsibility for the actions of the armed forces and other informal allied groups, notably the Popular Defense Forces and the Southern Liberation Army/Abu Gasim faction. The report says the abuses may also constitute war crimes, recalling that no investigation had been carried out by the Sudanese Government. Local authorities have indicated that they have forwarded the allegations to the Sudanese Armed Forces. Meanwhile, Sudan's Advisory Council on Human Rights has informed UNMIS that it is proposing to establish an investigation committee jointly with the African Union Mission in Sudan to inquire into the allegations contained in the report...
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