By Ngor Khot Garang [Guest]

War leaves women and girls particularly vulnerable. Women, girls and even young children are all too often abused, abducted and forced into sexual slavery as social and economic structures are concerned, unfortunately, impunity is always the norm. Whilst some progress has been made in recognizing rape and other acts of sexual violence as war crimes (rape is now specifically mentioned in the Statute of the International Criminal Court), the international and national response so far remains unclear and inadequate. The incidence of rape and sexual violence in this country not only increases but often becomes systematic. Rape becomes a weapon of war with women and girls the targets.When it comes to rape by men in armed uniforms, we cannot sit down and call God to help in the situation. But why defame the whole institution of the army for individuals’ bad apples? As it has always been the case, one spoiled onion can spoil the whole tray of onions. A lot of things have been going on silently and nothing has been done to shed light on the darkest parts of our country where most women and young women are being gang-raped. The authorities have not only failed to serve justice where it is needed but they have failed to pretend to be in the shoes of these women who have seen the darkest side of life. The complaints from rape survivors cannot be treated as made up stories and really if they are true as they sound, then one would be left to ask why men in military uniforms rape women they can protect.  When we raise the issue of sexual violence by the armed forces, the aim is not to ‘defame the armed forces’. The aim is to seek justice in every case of rape, no matter who the accused is. And the aim is to prevent such crimes in the future. The point here is that all those who commit these heinous crimes must be brought to face the law and punished greatly if found guilty without respect to their ranks or positions in the army. It seems like those men who rape don’t understand the cost of rape and how it feels, sometimes when you are raped, everything changes, you will lose a part of you that you will never get back untill you are gone. The government must stand firm and ensure that no rapists ever get away with it.

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