Top Line

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Read how peacekeepers turned rapists in Somali ! "peacekeepers in Somalia: ‘He ripped off my hijab’

Stories of rape by peacekeepers in Somalia: ‘He ripped off my hijab’ font size decrease font size increase font size Print Email 13.Sep.2014 DISQUS_COMMENTS Rate this item1 2 3 4 5 (2 votes) AFRICAN Union peacekeepers in Somalia rape women seeking medicine and food on their bases and routinely pay displaced teenage girls for sex, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Monday. Below are some of the women’s stories, taken from the report ‘The Power These Men Have Over Us’: Sexual Exploitation and Abuse by African Union Forces in Somalia. Ayanna, internally displaced mother, Mogadishu Ayanna went to the Burundian base to get medicine for her sick baby. A Somali interpreter working there told her to come back without the child. When she returned, he called her and three other young women over to a fenced area where six soldiers were waiting. The soldiers threatened them at gunpoint, dragged them into a bunker, beat and raped them. One woman was badly hurt. “We carried the injured woman home. Three of us walked out of the base carrying her… She couldn’t stand,” she said. “They gave us porridge, cookies and five dollars but they didn’t say anything to us. They threw the items at us and a bag to put them in.” Qamar, aged 15, Mogadishu Qamar went to the Burundian base to get medicine for her sick mother. An interpreter told her to follow two soldiers who would give her the medicine. She followed them to a bunker behind a fence where one man raped her as the second walked around. “First he ripped off my hijab and then he attacked me,” she told HRW. As she was leaving, the second soldier waved her over and gave her $10. Aziza, aged 17, internally displaced, Mogadishu Aziza’s neighbour, an interpreter, asked her to “befriend” a Ugandan soldier who would help her if she treated him like “her husband”. When they went to the Ugandan base, she saw four other girls waiting. “Each girl was led to a different tent by the interpreter,” she said. “The interpreter introduced me to a much older Ugandan soldier. I told the interpreter I was having second thoughts and wanted to leave.” The interpreter refused and left the crying girl with the soldier. “When I resisted the soldier’s advances, he became angry and brought back the interpreter who threatened me in Somali,” she said. The soldier raped her and then gave her $10 and a bag of apples. “It was either do as he wants or die,” she said. Kassa, aged 19, Mogadishu Kassa started having sex regularly with a soldier because she needed money for food. One day, he got angry because she did not want to perform fellatio as she had a sore tooth. “I tried to explain to him using hand gestures but he became infuriated and forced me to perform the act anyway,” she said. “I felt so scared and thought he would shoot me with his pistol.” Deka, Mogadishu “While in line (for medicine), an interpreter approached me and said he wanted to introduce me to a senior Burundian military officer who would be able to help me,” she said. “He gave me his number, told me to come back wearing a burqa. “He introduced me to a Burundian man of about 40 or 50, then left me alone in a room. “My baby was given toys to play with. The man undressed himself and we had sex; the baby cried twice and the soldier seemed annoyed by it. “When it was finished, I received my medication, $10 and some food. “On later visits I saw six other Somali women there - about six regulars between 15 and 24-years-old.” Girl, 12, Baidoa A girl was working on her parents’ farm on the edge of town when she was raped by a Ugandan soldier. “She wore a sako (long robe) and jeans under it,” her mother said. “After tearing the jeans, he raped her. He cut her vagina. He wounded her very badly. We don’t know if he made that cut with the knife or just with himself.” Somali soldiers nearby intervened and the girls’ parents were taken to meet AMISOM officials. They were offered 50 camels in compensation. AMISOM called the girl and her cousin, a witness, to identify the soldier, her mother said. She has heard that a case opened in Mogadishu but the family were not informed. “The rape... became the source of destruction of our family,” she said. “People laugh at (my daughter) whenever she comes out. They say: ‘An infidel raped her.’ “How can you feel if your daughter asks you: ‘Mother, do I deserve to live? Mother, I better die to hide my shameful face.’”