This makes me sick
Curse of the Janjaweed
Since 2003, Janjaweed bandits have been preying on the women of Darfur. Nobody knows how many they have raped, nobody knows how many pregnancies have resulted from these attacks, or how many babies have been killed by their ‘disgraced’ mothers. But now the women are beginning to speak out.
A s soon as she saw the two darkly clad men riding towards her on camels, their heads and faces swathed in scarves, Nafisa Mohamed knew what she must do. “I told my son and my daughter to run as fast as they could.” The men were the Janjaweed, nomadic Arab bandits who have been slaughtering Darfuri men and raping women, in a military offensive engineered by the Sudanese government. Jinn is Arabic for demon and jawad means horse. Darfuri people will tell you that the Janjaweed are indeed devils on horseback. Nafisa had been living for a year in Kalma camp, which houses about 120,000 Darfuri people who have had their homes destroyed by the Janjaweed. On this day she walked several miles away from the camp with two of her children to collect firewood. When the men approached, she feared they would try to kill her 13-year-old son and rape her 11-year-old daughter, but thought that if she surrendered herself and submitted they wouldn’t bother chasing her children. She knew they might kill her. Certainly they’d rape her.
Women in Darfur who report rapes are risking their lives and stand more chance of being prosecuted than the rapists. (Earlier this year two women were sentenced to death by stoning for committing adultery, although their sentences have yet to be executed.) In sharia law, a woman needs four male witnesses to testify to a rape. If she is married, reports a rape but doesn’t have these witnesses, she may be prosecuted for adultery and stoned to death. The Khartoum government has always vehemently denied that its soldiers rape women. Because of what one Sudanese human-rights activist describes as the government’s ongoing objection to the focus of rape in Darfur, the official statistics for last year’s rape cases amounted to a paltry seven. The Janjaweed, like the police and the rest of the military, enjoy immunity.
Goaded by Khartoum’s exhortations of Arab supremacy, the Janjaweed began a brutal and effective system to destroy the Darfuri people. Liaising with the Sudanese air force and army by satellite phone as villages were being shelled, the Janjaweed would then ride in on camel or horseback to finish the carnage. They’d kill the men, rape the women, often in front of their families, then burn down the rest of the villages. As a parting gesture, boy babies might be thrown into the fire. In February 2004, 75 people were killed in the town of Tawilla and more than 100 women raped – some by as many as 14 men; six girls in front of their fathers.
Read it all- and weap...