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Rape, Sexual Violence Continue In Darfur As Crisis Turns 10

“We’re at the 10-year-anniversary of the beginning of the genocide in Darfur, yet, instead of subsiding, it has been amplified this year,” columnist Nicholas Kristof writes in his New York Times column. “Darfur isn’t in the headlines anymore, partly because there has been a lull in the killing in recent years and partly because so much else is happening worldwide,” he states, adding, “The Sudanese government, which tends to calibrate its brutality to the degree of attention it receives, is taking advantage of the lack of scrutiny by stepping up its decade-long campaign in Darfur of mass murder, burned villages and sexual violence.” He notes, “Rape happens all over the world, of course, but, for 10 years, the Sudanese government has used rape as a weapon of war to humiliate the ethnic groups that it targets.”

“Just in the first five months of 2013, according to the United Nations, another 300,000 people in Darfur have been driven from their homes — and untold numbers killed or raped,” Kristof continues. “Granted, there are no magic wands to end the horrors of Darfur, but groups like the Enough Project have outlined solid proposals to put pressure on Sudan” and “[b]ipartisan legislation now in Congress — the Sudan Peace, Security and Accountability Act of 2013 — might help,” he writes. Kristof notes that on the last stop of his annual win-a-trip journey, in which he takes a student on a reporting trip to the developing world, he and trip winner Erin Luhmann of the University of Wisconsin interviewed “six brave women who are refugees from just one Darfur village, AbJaradil,” about their experiences having been raped. He provides quotes from these interviews and writes, “[L]et’s hope that these women’s courage and outspokenness will lead us to find our own voices” (7/24).