The medical aid group, Doctors Without Borders, says violence against the civilian population in Darfur continues unabated. The group, also known as MSF, says it’s treated hundreds of people since January for all sorts of injuries and attacks.
Dr. Pauline Horrill is with the French-branch of Doctors Without Borders. From Paris, she spoke to English to Africa reporter Joe De Capua about the on-going violence in Darfur.
She says, “Violence is a large term, but we’ve been witnessing for quite some time on a regular basis. Various forms of violence, whether it be a woman who’s been raped or patients who have been wounded during the consequences of attack., or beatings or intimidation. And we felt that when you look at the figures, which are accumulating since January, it’s quite significant, over 500 people for violence-related injuries since January and 250 women for rape. We felt that it was time that we talked about this again in a very factual manner because this is a reality that our doctors are confronting everyday.”
Many women are attacked when their leave camps for displaced people to look for firewood.
Dr. Horrill was asked about the presence of African Union troops. She says, “For sure the African Union is present in the majority of the places that I’m aware of that we work. The problem is more what role they’re playing and particularly what role is the government authorities playing to assure the protection of the populations displaced because ultimately it’s their primary responsibility.”
She says that the medical group is in frequent contact with Sudanese officials on all levels and that they have been made aware of the violent conditions.