On Oct. 31, 2014, at least 221 women and girls were raped in Tabit, Darfur, while the men of the village were driven to the outskirts of town, beaten and tied up by members of the Sudanese Army, according to a Human Rights Watch report.
The report also cites, “rape and other serious abuses against civilians in Tabit are serious violations of international humanitarian law (the laws of war) and international human rights law.”
This incident was first reported on Nov. 2, 2014 by a Netherlands-based station Radio Dabanga. Sudan denied the attack.
The HRW did not release the reports until February of 2015. In Canada, CTV did report on the incident 2015, but failed to include important details.
For example, this attack is part of a wider context of political unrest and government-led attacks. According to Africa News Service’s article, Attacks, Killings, Rape in Darfur, civilian attacks led by government officials is not new. A newly created government force, the Rapid Support Forces, lead several assaults in 2014 in Sudan.
Women are raped by soldiers, men and women are shot dead or beaten and witness or family members do not see much use in reporting the attacks.
Five people in connection with attacks in Darfur, including the President Omar al-Bashir, have charges pending for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. The President also denied this mass rape in 2014.
Reports on how these women, children and men are coping with this attack are not written. HRW stated that, “[the victims] were afraid of beatings, imprisonment and even execution by government” if they spoke about the details of the event.
Africa News Service, “Attacks, Killings, Rape in Darfur.”2014, Oct. 14, 2014. Accessed February 11, 2015. http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?id=GALE|A385750099&v=2.1&u=ureginalib&it=r&p=ITOF&sw=w&authCount=1.
Cara Anna, “Sudanese Forces Raped 221 Women and Girls in Mass Attack in Darfur: Report.” CTVNews. February 11, 2015. Accessed February 11, 2015. http://www.ctvnews.ca/world/sudanese-forces-raped-221-women-and-girls-in-mass-attack-in-darfur-report-1.2231253.
Human Rights Watch, “Mass Rape in North Darfur.” February 11, 2015. Accessed February 11, 2015. http://www.hrw.org/reports/2015/02/11/mass-rape-north-darfur.
Student researcher: Virginia Wright (University of Regina)
Faculty evaluator: Patricia Elliott (University of Regina)