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UN to investigate alleged mass rape of 200 women in Darfur


NEW YORK – Ms Zainab Bengura, the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, on Friday, expressed the world body’s readiness to investigate an alleged mass rape of 200 women and girls in Darfur.

Notice of the investigation is contained in a statement issued by Bengura in New York.

She said the act took place in a town in the North region of Darfur and urged
the government of Sudan to “allow immediate and unhindered access for an investigation.’’

The envoy said that the African Union-UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) should also be given access by the Government of Sudan.

Bengura said this would enable the UN to investigate and verify whether the incidents reported in the town of Tabit have occurred and if they have, there was need to ensure accountability.

She called on humanitarian actors to ensure “appropriate services’’ for survivors.

“It is critical that in the process of verifying the facts, the safety of survivors is of paramount concern.’’

She reaffirmed the support of the UN to Sudanese authorities to address any incidents of conflict-related sexual violence in a comprehensive manner.

Bangura said her office stands ready to cooperate with UNAMID, in line with the UN-backed African Union (AU) Framework of Cooperation on Prevention of Conflict-Related Sexual Violence in Africa.

The agreement, which was signed at the end of January, strengthens national policies, legislation and institutions working on conflict-related sexual violence.

UNAMID had earlier expressed concern about the allegations of mass rapes in Tabit, located 45 kilometres South West of El Fasher, in North Darfur. (NAN)

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