Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Rape as genocide

The violence in Dafur is taking on more ominous tones. The Washington Post has a disturbing report ("We want to make a light baby") about how soldiers in Sudan are using rape as a tool to Arabize the country. The Arab soldiers are raping African woman (who are themselves Muslim) for the purpose of eliminating the African presense in Sudan through forced reproduction. According to one woman,
They grabbed my donkey and my straw and said, 'Black girl, you are too dark. You are like a dog. We want to make a light baby[.]' They said, 'You get out of this area and leave the child when it's made.'

Another woman was told:
The government gave me permission to rape you. This is not your land anymore, abid [derogatory], go.

And, finally, this young woman:
They left me without my clothing by the dry riverbed. I had to walk back naked. They said, 'You slave. This is not your area. I will make an Arab baby who can have this land.' I am hurting now so much, because no one will marry me if they find out.

Rape has been a feature of guerilla combat in Africa for almost a decade: it has been used a means of bringing in new soldiers, and encouraging child soldiers as well as a means to terrorize and humiliate families and villages. But observers insist that the goals of racial hygiene are probably real. Women are selected by the soldiers in advance (one victim claiming that she was selected as if she were to be married). According to two international aid workers:
It's systematic[.] Everyone knows how the father carries the lineage in the culture. They want more Arab babies to take the land. The scary thing is that I don't think we realize the extent of how widespread this is yet.

These rapes are built on tribal tensions and orchestrated to create a dynamic where the African tribal groups are destroyed. It's hard to believe that they tell them they want to make Arab babies, but it's true. It's systematic, and these cases are what made me believe that it is part of ethnic cleansing and that they are doing it in a massive way.


At 7:09 AM, Blogger Adi said...

Thank you for sharing.
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