This Nicholas Kristof op-ed in the Times, about rape in Darfur, is brutal, but also a must-read.
On March 26, a 17-year-old student named Hawa went to a French-run clinic in Kalma and reported that she had been raped. A French midwife examined her and confirmed that she was bleeding and had been raped.
But an informer in the clinic alerted the police, who barged in and – over the determined protests of two Frenchwomen – carried Hawa off to a police hospital, where she was chained to a cot by one leg and one arm. A doctor there declared that she had not been raped after all, and Hawa was then imprisoned for a couple of days. The authorities are now proposing that she be charged with submitting false information.
The attacks are sometimes purely about humiliation. Some women are raped with sticks that tear apart their insides, leaving them constantly trickling urine. One Sudanese woman working for a European aid organization was raped with a bayonet. [...]
I’m still chilled by the matter-of-fact explanation I received as to why it is women who collect firewood, even though they’re the ones who are raped. The reason is an indication of how utterly we are failing the people of Darfur, two years into the first genocide of the 21st century.
“It’s simple,” one woman here explained. “When the men go out, they’re killed. The women are only raped.”
UPDATE: And read this post by Seth Chalmer, as well:
Even from Darfur activists, I’ve usually heard the victims described as “non-Arab tribes”, or “African tribes”. I’ve used that terminology myself, because I’ve heard it from others.
Why aren’t we saying the blunt truth? Complexities there may be, but it doesn’t change the fact that the Janjaweed are trying to murder all black people.