Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Darfur sex attacks rise as security deteriorates

LONDON, Aug 23 (Reuters) -
Sex attacks on displaced women collecting firewood in Sudan's war-torn Darfur region have surged to 200 a month from just a handful as security deteriorates, an international aid agency said on Wednesday.

Darfuri women are forced to walk several miles into isolated bush from their camp confines to search for fuel, and a peace deal agreed in May between the Khartoum government and a Darfur rebel group has done little to bring security for them.

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) documented more than 200 attacks on the women in the past five weeks outside the largest camp for displaced people in Darfur, where a three-year conflict has forced about 2.5 million people from their homes.

"This is a massive spike in figures," Kurt Tjossem, the IRC's deputy chief for East Africa, said in a statement. "We are used to two to four incidents of sexual assault per month in Kalma camp." Read more >>>

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