Abu Tira rape seven, destroy water tank in North Darfur’s Zamzam camp

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ZAMZAM CAMP (15 May.) - Militiamen and troops of the paramilitary Central Reserve Forces (known as Abu Tira) gang raped seven women of the Zamzam camp for the displaced in El Fasher locality, North Darfur, on Wednesday. After the rape, they shot at a large water tank, destroying it. Earlier that day, they had terrorised the camp market.

Speaking to Radio Dabanga from Zamzam camp, a witness reported that “government-backed militiamen and Abu Tira troops raped seven women inside their shelters in the camp on Wednesday evening”.

“The women had recently arrived to the camp. They had fled attacks on their villages in the area of Kobe, about 45km west of North Darfur State capital El Fasher. The assailants beat the men, and tied them up, before they raped the women alternately. An eighth woman who resisted was beaten severely. She sustained serious injuries, and had to be transferred to El Fasher hospital for treatment.”

“After the rape, the gunmen went out and began firing at a water tank in the camp. The tank that provides drinking water to 12,000 displaced (about one fourth of the total camp population) was hit, and started leaking.”

Extreme fear

“Earlier that day, Abu Tira persecuted three men, whom they accused of stealing one of their vehicles they had left at the Zamzam camp market. One of the men was captured, the other two fled. During their chase of these men, the Abu Tira troops assaulted passers-by among the displaced. They beat them, and robbed them of their mobile phones. In total, they stole more than 70 mobiles,” the witness said.

“Because of the violence, market vendors closed their shops, and kept them also closed on Thursday.”

“These days, we are living in a state of extreme fear in Zamzam camp,” the resident added.