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Many women and girls who fled Darfur to
escape rape and other violence are facing similar attacks in eastern Chad. And those are taking place both in and
outside of refugee camps.
the finding of a new report from Amnesty International called "No Place for Us
Here." It estimates over the past six
years, more than 140,000 Darfuri women and girls have gone to Chad.
researcher Rania Rajji was part of a mission the human rights organization sent
eastern Chad during April and May of this year.
While she was there, armed groups attacked the area.
was a state of lawlessness…a lot of banditry.
And there was continuing violence against refugee women and girls," she
who leave the camps to collect firewood and water or to visit relatives, are
are attacked by either bandits or men from villages or unknown individuals and
a lot of them are victims of rape. And
many of these cases are not reported.
The perpetrator is never found out or never goes to court," she says.
assaults have been going for years but security efforts have been unable to
What about MINURCAT?
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situation in eastern Chad in general is very delicate. The security situation is veryprecarious. The UN…armed mission there,
MINURCAT, (is) not able so far to cover all the areas. Even the human rights units…don't have access
to all the camps, especially the internally displaced camps," she says.
Chadians themselves have been uprooted by the violence in the east and have
is a plan to start patrols to protect women next year," she says. In the meantime, women are very vulnerable.
is quite impossible, like it is…in Darfur, to…control the path that the women
might take. The patrols will be over
certain areas, but the cases of rape or assault are very individual. Sometimes the women get out in groups…to
protect themselves and still they do get raped out there," she says.
Violence in the camps, as well
"Yes, that is a big problem. What we witnessed ourselves when the armed
groups attacked…is that people are scared of banditry…. Because the members of the armed groups turn
into bandits and they often go through the camps," she says.
violence is also a growing problem, arising from the fact that many men in the
camps do not have jobs.
she says, "We were able to take testimony from these women…where these
women…had indecent proposals by teachers at school. So the girls were not sent to school any
longer or girls were raped inside the camp by an inhabitant of the camp or
sometimes even workers in NGOs operating inside these camps."
Lack of camp security
problem remains the security in general.
That right now, the east of Chad is abandoned and the MINURCAT is not
able to provide a proactive protection.
Patrols are not enough."
Chadian police force known as DIS was formed to try to improve security in
eastern Chad. However, Rajji says, "This
has also a lot of problems. They face a
lack of equipment, a lack of men."
Amnesty International researcher says it is a "societal taboo" for Darfuri
women to speak about rape.
means they have no access to health facilities or to the services they need
once they are raped,' she says.
Amnesty report makes a number of recommendations, including improving and
respecting women's rights of equality.
cases of sexual assault are reported and are taken to court. That they are investigated properly and they
(perpetrators) are punished," she says.
The report recommends raising women's
awareness about their right to report rape and sexual assault and to have their
cases investigated. It also calls for
increased international support for MINURCAT, so it can increase its security
patrols around the camps.
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