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2013-09-02

AFRICA/SOMALIA - Emergency for women and children in refugee camps

Mogadishu (Agenzia Fides) - More than a million people still live scattered in Somalis refugee camps, among them women and children who live every day at great risk of violence of all kinds. Forced to flee and abandon their homes due to the armed conflict and drought, they are now facing further trauma of living under threats of violence. A statement by the NGO Amnesty International says that many women live in canvas and plastic tents which do not give any kind of security. Some of the victims are young, among them a 14-year-old girl was recently raped in a camp in Mogadishu while she was recovering from a seizure. Few of these abuses and violence are reported to the police, who still do not start legal proceedings against the alleged perpetrators. According to local sources, the inability or lack of willingness on behalf of Somali authorities to investigate these crimes and bring to justice the perpetrators leaves survivors of sexual violence even more isolated, and contributes to a climate of impunity. According to the Organization of the United Nations, at least 1,700 cases of violence in refugee camps in Somalia were recorded in 2012, of which at least 70% committed by armed men dressed in Government uniforms. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 02/09/2013)

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