06 August 2007

Where To Begin?

It is hard to keep up hope for a better day in Africa after reading things like this:

Of the 658 rape victims treated since the end of the war at the capital's main rape clinic, more than half were under 12 and 85 percent were under 18, according to Medecins sans Frontieres, which runs the hospital. Several babies have been treated for rape.

Despite these figures and the line of women that forms outside the rape clinic every morning, only five convicted rapists are serving sentences in Monrovia's central prison. . . .

Liberia has just 22 judges . . . Because Liberia's penal code has been out of print since the 1950s, judges rely on blurred photocopies of the statutes. . . .

Billboards throughout the capital now warn that rape is illegal by showing two stick figures, one forcing itself on the other - the scene crossed out by a large X.

When Liberia, a nation of 3 million, began its descent into civil war in 1989, rape quickly became a weapon. Before killing villagers, the rebels gang-raped girls and took them as "wives" to service multiple commanders. Thousands of rapes went unprosecuted.

Tough new laws were passed at the end of 2005, but cases are still working their way through the system and the system is still broken.


FreeIndeed said...

This drives me crazy! Thank you for blogging on it, though. Ditto for women, girls and even some young boys in the Congo, Sudan, etc. It's just so very heartbreaking to imagine. And so many of these are child soldiers often forced into the militias after similar tortures and, eventually, brainwashed into such evilness. A vicious, vicious cycle!

I pray night and day for peace.


Anonymous said...

The UN has estimated that in 2005 alone 45,000 women were raped in the DRC (formerly Zaire). Sometimes a male relative is forced at gun point to rape a family member and then eat their flesh after they were killed. Because all the actors are guilty of this there is no hope for internal resolution. Alas, like Darfur and elsewhere, Human Rights and even Genocide are now words with no meaning anymore (ie no one has to do anything about these atrocities). Hillary Clinton said she would not send troops to Darfur (presumably ever). Pray for peace, but don't dont think anyone cares.