AFRICA/SOMALILAND - More severe penalties to curb rapes in Somaliland

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Hargeisa (Agenzia Fides) - According to official estimates, there were about 5,000 cases of rape in Somaliland in 2012, compared to 4,000 in 2011. The figures of Sexual Assaults Referral Centre (SARC), indicates an increasing trend of this phenomenon. The center, in 2012, was involved in 195 cases of rape, compared to 130 in 2011. The reported cases are mainly areas near Hargeisa. More severe penalties and less dependence on traditional justice systems could help end the growing incidence of the phenomenon in the Republic. Only few victims seek treatment immediately after the attacks. Many fail to reach the center within the first 24 hours of the incident and therefore the evidence of rape is no longer easily visible. Many children are unfortunately among the victims of these atrocities. The last reported case involved a 6 year old boy, displaced in the area of Hargeisa, raped by a family member. However, many are not reported or are "resolved" due to agreements between the families of the victims and the torturers. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 29/05/2013)